COSPAR William Nordberg Medal

Leave a comment

Dr Rasool recieved the COSPAR WILLIAM NORDBERG MEDAL in 1988. This medal commemorates the work of the late William Nordberg and is awarded to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution to the application of space science in a field covered by COSPAR.

L’Avenir du Futur-1975

Leave a comment

Ichtiaque Rasool was invited to the first show of l’Avenir du Futur produced by TF1 in 1975. This show was presented by Robert CLARKE and was about science and the future of science.  The film “Robinson crusoé sur mars ” from 1964 was shown and then a debate followed on the possibility of life on mars. Here is a short extract from that show:

North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment

Leave a comment

Two Mars Craters Named

1 Comment

Kakori and Sandila, two small towns in Northern India, are where my mother and father were born. What I neglected to mention in my biography “My Life: From Riches to Rags and (almost) back” is that two relatively large size craters(about 25km diameter) on Mars have the names Kakori and Sandila. This happened back in the mid-1970s. One day I got a call from the late Hal Masursky who was at Kennedy Airport on his way to Moscow for a meeting of nomenclature  group which was to recommend names for craters on Mars. He wanted from me the names of two or three small towns in India which were exotic enough but not very well known. I instantly said Kakori and Sandila. The names were accepted and are today listed in Wikipedia with their martian coordinates. I hope that Curiosity Rover will one day visit these craters and send us some pictures. 

Biography at NASA libraries

Leave a comment

Ichtiaque Rasool’s biography should be available at 9 NASA libraries! Go check it out.

Mariner 5

Leave a comment

Mariner 5 was originally built to be the backup for Mariner 4 to Mars, but was never needed for that purpose. Thus, it was refurbished and modified to go to Venus instead. It flew by Venus at a distance of 3,990 kilometers (2,480 miles), and with its more sensitive instruments than aboard Mariner 2, revealed new information about Venus’ atmosphere, including its composition of 85-99% carbon dioxide. Mariner 5 also studied the interplanetary space in the vicinity of Venus and furthered the art and science of building and operating interplanetary spacecraft.

Radio occultation data from Mariner 5 helped to understand the temperature and pressure data returned by the Venera 4 lander, which arrived at Venus shortly before it. After these missions, it was clear that Venus had a very hot surface and an atmosphere even denser than expected.

Climate Change, Global Change: What Is The Difference?

Leave a comment


S.I. Rasool

The recent surge in committee activities, national and international, to define and promote a program of research in global change has left many of our colleagues wondering how this new program is going to be different from the World Climate Research Program (WCRP), which has the charge to study the problem of climate change. In fact, although the programs overlap, the difference between the two is both substantial and substantive.

Substantial, because the scope of the program to study global change is much broader; a very large number of scientific disciplines will be involved. The program will need support from an even larger number of programming agencies from around the world. Substantive, because the program will address research that is not emphasized in the WCRP:

  • studies of chemical compounds other than water as they cycle through the atmosphere, land, and oceans
  • measurements and modeling of the eutrophic zone in upper layers of the oceans, where rates of photosynthesis and transport regulate the exchange of gases between the atmosphere and deep oceans
  • documenting variability of the global vegetation cover and of soil chemistry and studying their impacts on the concentration of atmospheric gases
  • the study of how changes in regional climate affect the state of vegetation for periods of a few decades.

Understanding The Global Change: An Opportunity To Seize

Leave a comment


S.I. Rasool

That Earth is constantly changing has been known since the beginnings of human reflections on the nature of our environments. The minute-by-minute changes in winds and clouds and the long-term trends in the climate of the continents, the rapid fluctuations in the humidity of the air and the sudden arrival of monsoons and tropical storms, the seasonal greening of grass and changing vegetation patterns around the globe, the rapidly spreading ripples in ponds and the slow meanderings of the Gulf Stream, the bursts of violent snow storms and the waxing and waning of the polar ice caps, all testify to the dynamic nature of the environments.

Older Entries