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ASL News Item (March 24, 2011): Dr. Moustafa Chahine passed away on March 23, 2011

· Press Releases,News

It is with deep regret and sadness that the ASL announces the untimely death, on March 23rd, of its newly elected Academician Dr. Moustafa Chahine.

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The ASL has lost a great man who was eager to help the Academy and its mission in Lebanon; Lebanon has lost one of its most distinguished emigre scientists and NASA has lost a leader who for over fifty years has made invaluable contributions to space exploration.

Quoted below is a message from ASL Academician Dr. Charles Elachi addressed to the employees of JPL, where Dr. Chahine worked.



March 24, 2011

TO: JPL Employees and Contractor Personnel

FROM: Charles Elachi

SUBJECT: Moustafa Chahine


I am saddened to share the news that Dr. Moustafa (Mous) Chahine passed away
unexpectedly last night. All of you who knew him -or know of him - realize what
a loss this is for his family and JPL. He was an extraordinary gentleman and


Mous came to JPL more than fifty years ago. He served as founding head of the
Division of Earth and Space Sciences and as the Laboratory's Chief Scientist
from 1984 until 2001. Most recently he has been the Science Team Leader for
NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), which was launched onboard the Aqua
spacecraft in 2002.


Dr. Chahine's primary interests were in remote sensing of planetary atmospheres
and surfaces, and in climate change processes. Among his several accomplishments
was developing a multispectral method using infrared and microwave observations
to enable infrared remote sensing through clouds. These methods were applied to
the remote sensing of Earth, Venus, Mars and Jupiter.


He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International
Academy of Astronautics. He was also a Fellow in the American Physical Society,
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American
Geophysical Union and the American and British Meteorological Societies. He
received NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1969), Outstanding
Leadership, and Exceptional Achievement Medals. He was also a recipient of the
William T. Pecora Award from NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior, the
Jule G. Charney Award of the American Meteorological Society, the Losey
Atmospheric Sciences Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics, the William Nordberg Medal from the Committee on Space Research
and the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievements (2007).