Rafael Navarro-González

Mexico

1959-2021


Obituary:

PLANETARY EXPLORATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 15, Number 7 (February 14, 2021)

PEN Website: http://planetarynews.org
Editor: Mark V. Sykes
Co-Editors: Elisabeth Adams, Georgiana Kramer
Email: pen_editor@psi.edu
Twitter: @pen2tweets

IN MEMORIAM: RAFAEL NAVARRO-GONZALEZ (1959-2021)

It is with great sadness we announce the death of chemist and
astrobiologist Dr. Rafael Navarro Gonzalez on January 27, 2021 from
complications with COVID-19. A tribute to Rafael will be scheduled at a
TBD time when COVID-19 is a lower risk. Rafael was an internationally
recognized and talented scientist, the recipient of the 2009 Alexander
von Humboldt Medal, the World Academy of Sciences Award in Earth
Sciences, and the first recipient of the Molina fellowship are only a
few of his awards. His research blends laboratory simulations, field
work, and theoretical modeling in chemistry, physics and biology. He
identified the role of volcanic lightning in the origin of life on
Earth. Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez was born in Mexico City on April 25,
1959. He earned a Bachelors in Biology from UNAM, Doctorate in
Chemistry from University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Navarro
Gonzalez established the Chemistry Laboratory Plasmas and Planetary
Studies at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences at (UNAM). Among the most
significant contributions are the detection of organics in Mars-like
environments on Earth. He was a Co-I on the SAM instrument onboard
NASA's MSL and on the HABIT instrument onboard ESA's Exomars mission.

Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past Member of Division F Planetary Systems and Astrobiology (until 2021)

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