Thomas Donahue, 83; Professor Shaped Space Exploration

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Thomas Donahue, 83, a planetary scientist who worked on space missions including Apollo 17, Apollo-Soyuz, Voyager and Galileo, died Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich., of complications following heart surgery, the University of Michigan said.

Donahue, a planetary science professor at Michigan, shaped space exploration through his scientific achievements and policy positions.

Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and to the International Academy of Astronautics in 1986, Donahue was a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science.

From 1982 to 1988, he chaired the Space Science Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, where he was a strong advocate for unmanned space science missions.

Born in Healdton, Okla., Donahue grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II. He earned a doctoral degree in atomic physics in 1947 from Johns Hopkins University.

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