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Stars that died 2010

Monday, July 9, 2012

Angioletta Coradini, Italian astrophysicist, died from cancer she was 65.

Dr. Angioletta Coradini  was an Italian astrophysicist, planetary scientist and one of the most important figures in the space sciences in Italy died from cancer she was 65. .

(1 July 1946- died 5 September 2011)


In 1970 she completed a Masters degree in Physics at the University of Rome, the city where she would do her research over her entire career—at first at the university, then from 1975 at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), and finally at the National Astrophysics Institute of Italy (INAF). Her early geological research conducted in the Gulf of Cagliari earned her notable international recognition, so much so that her “Department of Planetology” at CNR was one of the early groups to be entrusted by NASA with the analysis of lunar samples brought back to the Earth by the Apollo Program. From 2001-10, Dr. Coradini served as director of the Institute for the Physics of Interplanetary Space of INAF. She was awarded the David Bates Medal of the European Geophysical Union in 2007.[2] In 2010 NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory named her one of its Distinguished Visiting Scientists.

Participation in international scientific projects

  • Co—investigator for NASA lunar and planetary research (1970–74);
  • Member of the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the US National Academy of Sciences and the European Science Foundation (1983);
  • NATO contractor for collaboration between Institute for Space Astrophysics (IAS) and UCLA (1984–87);
  • Member of Solar System Working Group (SSWG) of ESA (1985–88);
  • Member of the Phase A Assessment team for ESA Rosetta, third cornerstone (1985–93);
  • PI for campaign of telemonitoring of active volcanic zones, organized jointly between CNR and NASA/JPL (1986);
  • Member of the Science Team for data analysis of the ISM Sensor for the Soviet Phobos mission (1990–93);
  • Member of the Italian Team for the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) and Omega Vnir spectrometer for the Soviet Mars 94/96 mission (1989–96);
  • Member of the Science Team for the CIRS and VIMS instruments, and PI of the VIMS visible channel, Cassini-Huygens mission (1991–2011)
  • Coordinator of the Moon Orbiting Observatory (MORO) proposal and member of the MORO science team (1993–96);
  • Member of the Observing Time Allocation Committee (OTAC) for the ESA Infrared Observatory (ISO) mission (1994–96);
  • Member of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) observing Program Committee, Panel F (1997–99);
  • PI of the VIRTIS instrument for the ESA Rosetta mission (1996–2011);
  • PI of the Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies (Ma-Miss) (1999–2011);
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Finnish Academy of Space Studies “Antares” (1999–2004);
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the International Institute of Space Studies (ISSI), headquartered in Bern (1999–2002);
  • Member of the ESA Science Program Committee (SPC) in the role of consultant for planetary science from the Italian delegation;
  • Member of the High Scientific Committee of the Paris Observatory;
  • PI of the VIR instrument for the NASA Dawn Discovery mission (2001–11);
  • PI of the Jiram Instrument for the NASA New Frontiers Juno mission (2005–11);
  • Member of the Space Advisory Group (SAG) of the European Community (2008–11);
  • Past member, European Space Science Committee (ESSC);
  • Past Secretary Division III, Commission 16 of the International Astronomical Union

Awards and Recognition

  • David Bates Medal (2007) “In recognition of her important and wide ranging work in planetary sciences and Solar System formation, and her leading role in the development of space infrared instrumentation for planetary exploration”[2]
  • Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Science
  • Asteroid 4598 Coradini, shared with brother Marcello, for contributions given to the development of planetary science.
  • Elected member, International Academy of Astronautics, in 2009.


Dr. Coradini died in 2011, aged 65, after a year-long battle with cancer.

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

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