Paul J. Coleman

Last updated
Paul J. Coleman Jr.
Born(1932-03-07)March 7, 1932
Chicago, Illinois
DiedApril 6, 2019(2019-04-06) (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California
Residence United States
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.D.)
AwardsExceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (twice)
Scientific career
Fields Space

Paul J. Coleman Jr. (March 7, 1932 – April 6, 2019) was an American space scientist, NASA veteran, professor of space physics at the University of California, Los Angeles [1] and founding chairman of the Girvan Institute of Technology. [2] Coleman was also a co-founder of JumpStartFund , an online crowdsourcing platform. [3] [4]

NASA US government agency responsible for civilian space programs, and aeronautical and aerospace research

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

Space physics is the study of plasmas as they occur naturally in the Earth's upper atmosphere (aeronomy) and within the Solar System. As such, it encompasses a far-ranging number of topics, such as heliophysics which includes the solar physics of the Sun: the solar wind, planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres, auroras, cosmic rays, and synchrotron radiation. Space physics is a fundamental part of the study of space weather and has important implications in not only to understanding the universe, but also for practical everyday life, including the operations of communications and weather satellites.

University of California, Los Angeles Public research university in Los Angeles, California

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a public research university in Los Angeles. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the fourth-oldest of the 10-campus University of California system. It offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. UCLA enrolls about 31,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students and had 119,000 applicants for Fall 2016, including transfer applicants, making the school the most applied-to of any American university.


He was awarded two Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal by NASA, one in 1970 for his contributions to the exploration of the solar system and the other in 1972 for his contributions to the exploration of the moon. In 1975 he was elected in the International Academy of Astronautics. He was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 1975 [5] and a Senior Fulbright Scholar from 1975-76. P From 1981 to 2000, he was president and CEO of the USRA. [6] In 1985, Dr. Coleman was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Commission on Space; in 1991, he was appointed by Vice President Dan Quayle to the Space policy Advisory Board. In 2004, he was recognized by Space News , as one of ten "Innovators and visionaries" who "made a difference' in the global space enterprise over the preceding fifteen years". [7] [8]

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) is a non-governmental organisation of experts committed to expanding the frontiers of space. It was established in Stockholm (Sweden) on August 16, 1960.

Guggenheim Fellowships are grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) was incorporated on March 12, 1969 in Washington, D.C. as a private, nonprofit corporation under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Institutional membership in the association has grown from 49 colleges and universities when it was founded, to the current 105 institutions. All member institutions have graduate programs in space sciences or technology. Besides the 95 member institutions in the United States, there are two member institutions in Canada, four in Europe, two in Israel, one in Australia and one in Hong Kong.

Early life and career

Coleman held B.S. Engineering degrees in mathematics and physics, an M.S. degree in physics, and a Ph.D. in space physics. He served two years as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, with duty in Europe, South Korea, and Turkey from 1954 to 1956.

United States Air Force Air and space warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia under Gwanggaeto the Great. Its capital, Seoul, is a major global city and half of South Korea's over 51 million people live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world.

His early professional experience included positions at the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation (acquired by Northrop Grumman) and at the headquarters of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C., as manager of NASA's interplanetary sciences program.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

In 1965, he joined the faculty at UCLA. [9] There, with Dr. T.A. Farley, he established a laboratory for research in space physics. In the course of his research on charged particles and electric and magnetic fields in space, [10] he worked with the Explorer, OGO and ATS series of earth satellites, the Pioneer series of deep-space probes, [11] the Mariner series of planetary spacecraft, Apollo's 15 and 17, and Galileo. He wrote or collaborated in writing more than 150 articles on research in the space sciences and developments in space technology.

Orbiting Geophysical Observatory

Orbiting Geophysical Observatory (OGO) Program of NASA refers to the six satellites launched by the United States that were in use from September 1964 to 1972, designed to study the Earth's magnetosphere. The satellites successfully studied the interactions between the Earth and the Sun, despite a number of technical problems. Each satellite had 20 to 25 instruments. OGO 1, OGO 3, and OGO 5 were in equatorial orbits; OGO 2, OGO 4, and OGO 6 were in lower polar orbits.

Apollo 15 Fourth crewed mission to land on the Moon

Apollo 15 was the ninth crewed mission in the United States' Apollo program, and the fourth to land on the Moon. It was the first J mission, with a longer stay on the Moon and a greater focus on science than earlier landings. Apollo 15 saw the first use of the Lunar Roving Vehicle.

<i>Galileo</i> (spacecraft) Unmanned NASA spacecraft which studied the planet Jupiter and its moons

Galileo was an American unmanned spacecraft that studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other Solar System bodies. Named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, it consisted of an orbiter and an entry probe. It was delivered into Earth orbit on October 18, 1989 by Space ShuttleAtlantis. Galileo arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995, after gravitational assist flybys of Venus and Earth, and became the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter. It launched the first probe into Jupiter, directly measuring its atmosphere. Despite suffering major antenna problems, Galileo achieved the first asteroid flyby, of 951 Gaspra, and discovered the first asteroid moon, Dactyl, around 243 Ida. In 1994, Galileo observed Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9's collision with Jupiter.

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Michael D. Griffin American physicist and aerospace engineer

Michael Douglas Griffin is an American physicist and aerospace engineer who is the current Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. He previously served as Administrator of NASA, the U.S. space agency, from April 13, 2005, to January 20, 2009. As NASA Administrator Griffin oversaw such areas as the future of human spaceflight, the fate of the Hubble telescope and NASA's role in understanding climate change. In April 2009 Griffin, who has an academic background, was named eminent scholar and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is a scientific research institute dedicated to study of the solar system, its formation, evolution, and current state. The Institute is part of the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and is supported by the Science Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Located at 3600 Bay Area Boulevard in Houston, Texas, the LPI maintains an extensive collection of lunar and planetary data, carries out education and public outreach programs, and offers meeting coordination and publishing services. The LPI sponsors and organizes several workshops and conferences throughout the year, including the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) held in March in the Houston area.

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Sol Alan Stern is an American engineer and planetary scientist. He is the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Chief Scientist at Moon Express.

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Dr. Anthony (Tony) John Calio was an American physicist, businessman, senior executive of NASA and the fourth Administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


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  8. "Board of Directors". . Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  9. "Graduates of the UCLA Space Physics Program by Highest Degree". Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  10. "Three-axis Fluxgate Magnetometer". Retrieved 8 June 2014.
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