In Memoriam: David McKay
I am very saddened to inform you that our friend and colleague, Dr. David S. McKay, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours yesterday, 20 February 2013. David had been battling serious health problems for some time, especially cardiac issues this past year or so. He was 77.
David joined NASA in June of 1965. He participated extensively in astronaut training up until the Apollo 11 mission with many field trips including Hawaii, Alaska, Iceland, Mexico, and many sites in western US, and was the prime geology teacher (along with Dr. John Dietrich) for Aldrin and Armstrong on their final geology field trip before their flight. He was named a Principal Investigator to study the first returned lunar samples and continued as a lunar sample PI for the next 20 years. He started many of the laboratories in Building 31 at JSC (electron microprobe, SEM, TEM, Experimental Petrology, Soil Analysis, Astrobiology). He managed the NASA space resources program out of JSC during much of the 1980s, and applied for the first-ever patent on the technology of using space resources (production of oxygen from lunar soil by H reduction).
David's family is currently making arrangements for memorial services. We will pass along whatever info the family provides in due course. All of us here in ARES extend our sincerest condolences to the McKay family.
Ad astra Dave, we thank you and we will miss you.