Moving from the confines of Earth to the expanse of Space and beyond…
George Robert Carruthers (1939-2020)
Invented the Ultraviolet Camera or Spectrograph. This invention provided NASA with crucial information about the Earth’s atmosphere and its pollutant concentrations. It was used on April 21, 1972, during the Apollo 16 flight.
The invention was able to prove the existence of hydrogen in interstellar space and capture UV images of 550 stars, galaxies, and nebulae.
As a child, Carruthers’ father encouraged his early interest in science. At the age of 10, he constructed his own telescope with cardboard tubes and mail-order lenses that he had bought with his money as a delivery boy.
In high school, he won three awards in Chicago’s high school science fairs, including first prize for a telescope that he had designed and built.
For his invention of the Spectrograph, Carruthers was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. In the 1980s, one of his inventions captured the UV image of Halley’s Comet. His latest invention was the camera that was used in the Space Shuttle Mission in 1991.