He was born in Ziakas, Greece on the 6th of May, 1937. He received an M.S. in Nuclear Physics (1961) from the Charles University, Prague and a Postgraduate Degree (1964) from the Institute of Plasma Physics in Prague, then Czechoslovakia. He moved to the University of Chicago, U.S.A. working at the Laboratory for Astrophysics, while in 1981 he joined the Enrico Fermi Laboratory of the same University (1981) as Senior Research Associate and later as Senior Scientist. He has worked on Chemical analyses of planetary bodies by Alpha Backscattering technique (with A. Turkevich - Surveyor Alpha backscattering experiment 1967-68), in Instrument development for Viking missions, in penetrator missions to comets and asteroids. Also, he worked as coinvestigator on the Alpha-X experiment onboard the Soviet Phobos 1 and 2 spacecrafts in 1986-89 and on the Alpha-Proton-X-ray for the Russian Mars-96 missions to Mars. He was the Principal Investigator for the X-ray mode of this experiment and Co-Principal Investigator on the APX Spectrometer on NASAs Mars Pathfinder mission in 1993 - 1997 and the Principal Investigator for the X-ray mode of the APXS experiment on the Pathfinder Mission. He was a Member of Program Science Group for the Pathfinder mission, Team member of Mineralogy/Geochemistry Science Operation Group for the Pathfinder and a Member of many NASA mission evaluation teams (1970 - present). He also worked on the Analysis of Mars Pathfinder APXS data. In generally, he has been building instruments for interplanetary spacecraft since the mid-1960s. His areas of expertise are Chemical Analysis, Mars Rovers and Robotic Spacecraft Instrumentation. He is associated with three of NASA’s robotic missions: the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Cassini mission to Mars, and the now-complete Stardust mission to Comet Wild-2, which has been redirected to a second cometary target. He also built the Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer that successfully performed the first chemical analysis of Martian rocks aboard the Mars Pathfinder rover in 1997. Working in the laboratory of Anthony Turkevich, he contributed to the alpha backscattering experiment of three robotic Surveyor space probes that landed on the moon in 1967-68. With Turkevich during the 1970s and 1980s, he also conducted basic nuclear physics research on
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼the subatomic structure of matter using the most advanced particle accelerators at Los Alamos, Argonne and Fermi National Accelerator laboratories. During the 1990s they performed an important double beta decay experiment of Uranium-238 to Plutonium-238, suggesting for the first time that neutrinos consist of a small quantity of mass. He has published more than 90 papers in scientific refereed journals. He has been presented with the NASA award for the APXS on the Pathfinder Mission and with the National Air and Space Museum 1998 Achievement Trophy for the Pathfinder Team. He is a Member AAAS, of the American Geophysical Union, of the European Geophysical Society and of the LAMPF users group.
Demetrios Eginitis (22 July 1862 - 13 March 1934)
Demetrios Eginitis was born in Athens and graduated from the famous Varvakeio School of Athens in 1879. In the same year, he began his studies in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics in the Philosophical School at the University of Athens. He graduated in 1886 with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in mathematics (Stefanides, 1948). The Athens University’s Council for post-doctoral studies awarded him a scholarship so that he could take astronomy and mathematics classes at the Sorbonne in Paris. The following year, on 1 November 1887, he was accepted as an apprentice astronomer (élève astronome) at the meteorological observatory of Montsouris and, somewhat later, at the Paris Observatory, where he finally became a staff astronomer, in 1889.
When in France, Eginitis also worked at the Laboratory for Stellar Spectra in Salet, at the Physics Laboratory of Cornu, at the meteorological centre of Parc Saint Maur and at the Meudon Observatory. In addition, he worked outside Paris for a while, at the Observatory of Nice, and even outside of France, in Lockyer’s astronomical laboratory in England.
At the Paris Observatory, Eginitis worked diligently for two years with the meridian circle carrying out regular equatorial observations (i.e. measurements of the culmination of stars for mapping of the northern skies and determinations of the proper motion). He also observed asteroids and variable stars with the meridian telescope located in the western dome.
Eginitis became known for his classic treatise Sur la Stabilité du Système Solaire (On the Stability of the Solar System), in which he studied the secular variations (anomalies) of the semi-major axes of the planetary orbits. He submitted this in 1889 to the Paris Academy, where it was presented by Rear-Admiral Mouchez (the Director of Paris Observatory). In the same year, his treatise on celestial mechanics was published in the Annales de l’Observatoire de Paris, where for the first time Eginitis is referred to as a staff astronomer (astronome); this was an important career step for such a young man.
He was born on the 16th of July, 1971. He received the B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Athens, Greece (1994), the M.Sc. in Astrophysics (1998) and the Ph.D. in Space Physics (2000) from the same University.