Press Release

Alexander Basilevsky wins 2004 Masursky Prize from AAS Division for Planetary Sciences

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2004
Filed under ,

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical
Society has awarded its 2004 Harold Masursky Prize to Dr. Alexander
Basilevsky, Director of the Laboratory of Comparative Planetology at the
Vernadsky Institute in Moscow, Russia. The Masursky Prize is awarded
annually to recognize and honor individuals who have rendered outstanding
service to planetary science and exploration through engineering,
managerial, programmatic, or public service activities. The Masursky Prize
will be presented to Basilevsky at DPS 2004, which will convene November
8-12 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Alexander Basilevsky is Director of the Laboratory of Comparative
Planetology at the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow. As scientific colleagues
and close personal friends during the Cold War era, Drs. Basilevsky and
Masursky were together responsible for establishing some of the most basic
and productive interactions between planetary scientists of the Soviet
Union and those of the United States and Western Europe. As a leading
expert in the study of cratering processes and planetary geology for the
Moon, Mars, and Venus, Basilevsky was a natural Soviet scientific
counterpart to Masursky. Also analogous to Masursky, Basilevsky’s detailed
involvement and pushing of a scientific agenda in all Soviet lunar and
planetary missions was a major factor in inserting science into otherwise
political and engineering missions. Dr. Basilevsky’s scientific and
political impact extended internationally through his extensive effort and
success in being one of the few Soviet scientists able to travel frequently
to planetary conferences in the west. Further, he participated actively
within the European Geophysical Union, the International Union of
Geological Sciences, as well as within the organization of Vernadsky-Brown
University Microsymposia on Comparative Planetology.

The DPS is the largest organization of professional planetary scientists in
the world. More information on the annual DPS meeting and this year’s
prize winners, including an image of Dr. Basilevsky, can be found on the
DPS web site at

SpaceRef staff editor.