George Robert Carruthers

Info courtesy of Black American History

Born 1939, Cincinnati, Ohio.  As a child, space exploration and science always interested him.  He continued this interest into higher education, earning a B.S. in aeronautical engineering in 1961, M.S. in nuclear engineering in 1962, and a Ph.D. in aeronautical and astronomical engineering in 1964.  In 1964, Carruthers would land a job with the Naval Research Laboratory as a research physicist.  It was there his contributions to breakthroughs in science with the N.A.S.A. would begin.

While employed at the NRL, Carruthers’ research would focus on ultraviolet radiation, far ultralight astronomy, and how to use it to visualize and detect elements in deep space.  In 1969, he would receive a patent for the “Image Converter”, which would electromagnetic radiation, especially in short wave lengths.  In 1970, Carruthers would be the first to observe and provide proof of molecular hydrogen in space.  And in 1972, he would be credited as the inventor of the first moon based observatory with his invention, the “Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph”.  The camera could view celestial bodies and stars deep in space, study the atmosphere of Earth (and in particular the visual effects of pollution), and could detect hydrogen in space, giving proof that plants weren’t the only source of oxygen for Earth.

George Carruthers has achieved a number of significant awards in the science community, including “Arthur Fleming Award”(1971), “Exceptional Achievement Scientific Award” from N.A.S.A. (1972), and the “Warner Prize” (1973), “Black Engineer of the Year”(1987), .  He has also received the high honor of being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of fame in 2003.

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