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Stamatios Krimigis | Greek-American Space Exploration Scientist

Updated: Mar 31

Stamatios Krimigis (or Tom Krimigis as he is mostly known in the United States), born in Vrontados village of Chios island, is a Greek-American scientist, expert in space exploration, Head Emeritus of the Space Department Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University Laurel, Maryland, United States and member of the Academy of Athens, Greece, where he has the Chair of Science of Space.

Stamatios Krimigis

Photo by: in the public domain created by NASA (according to Wikimedia Commons)


Krimigis has contributed to many of the US unmanned space exploration programmes of the Solar System and beyond. He has been member of scientific teams of exploration missions to almost every planet of the Solar System. In 1999, the International Astronomical Union named the asteroid 8323 Krimigis (previously 1979 UH) in his honor.


He has served as Greece’s Alternate Head Delegate to the ESA Council (2006-2010), as Chair of the National Council for Research, Technology and Innovation of Greece (2010 - 2013), as member of the National Academy of Sciences' Space Science Board, as Chairman of the Board's Committee on Solar and Space Physics (1983-1986), and as member of NASA's Space Science.


From 1991 to 2004, as Head of the Space Department of the JHU/APL, he directed the work of about 600 scientists, engineers, and other support staff in the design, construction, testing, and launch into space of entire satellites and scientific instruments that perform measurements on a large variety of earth-orbiting and interplanetary missions.


As a student of J. A. Van Allen and later on faculty, he built instruments for Mariners 3, 4 (Mars), Injun 4, Injun 5 (Earth), OGO-4 (Earth), Mariner-5 (Venus), and Explorers 33 and 35 (Moon, Anchored IMP).


Krimigis' research interests include the Earth's environment, its magnetosphere, the sun, the interplanetary medium, and the magnetospheres of the planets.


He has published more than 530 papers in journals and books, he is co-editor of the book Saturn from Cassini-Huygens (2009), he has over 11.000 citations (ISI-web of science) and over 15,000 citations (Google Scholar).


Dr. Krimigis has been awarded the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1981, 1986, 2014), over forty NASA Group Achievements awards (for Voyager, Galileo, NEAR, Cassini, etc), the ESA group awards for Ulysses and Cassini-Huygens, the International Academy of Astronautics Basic Sciences Award (1994), the COSPAR Space Science Award (2002), the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory Lifetime Achievement Award, the Gold Cross "Commandeur de l' Ordre du Phoénix" (1997), the Council of European Aerospace Societies (CEAS Gold Medal), the Honorary Doctorates from the University of the Aegean (2009), the IAA Laurels Award for Team Achievement to leading NASA’S MESSENGER mission to Mercury from the International Academy of Astronautics (2012), the Jean Dominique Cassini Medal from the European Geosciences Union (2014), the James Van Allen Space Environments Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2014) and the NASA’s Voyager Silver Achievement Award (2014).


He has participated as Member or Chairman in many national and international conferences in space science and space systems management, and has lectured in major conferences and National Academies in all five continents.


Go to Chios Page

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