Eric Burgess

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For the footballer, see Eric Burgess (footballer).

Eric Burgess (1920 – March 2005) was an English freelance consultant, lecturer and journalist, who wrote about the Pioneer program of space missions since the first tests in 1957. He was the science correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor in the period of many of the planetary probe launches, and was often the senior science reporter present at many of those events.

Burgess was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and British Interplanetary Society, and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is credited with the original idea that the Pioneer probes should carry a message for extraterrestrial intelligences. He approached Carl Sagan about his idea, which eventually resulted in the Pioneer plaque.


  • Murray, Bruce; Burgess, Eric (1982). Flight to Mercury. Sybex Inc. ISBN 0-89588-087-3. 
  • Burgess, Eric (1957). Satellites and Space Flight. The Macmillan Company, New York. 
  • Burgess, Eric (1982). Celestial Basic: Astronomy on Your Computer. Sybex Inc. ISBN 0-89588-087-3. 
  • Burgess, Eric (1988). Uranus and Neptune: The Distant Giants. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-06492-6. 
  • Burgess, Eric (1990). Return to the Red Planet. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-06942-1. 
  • Burgess, Eric (1993). Outpost on Apollo's Moon. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-07666-5. 
  • Burgess, Eric (1992). Far Encounter: The Neptune System. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-07412-3. 
  • Fimmel, Richard O.; Colin, Lawrence; Burgess, Eric (1992). Pioneer Venus: A Planet Unveiled. NASA Ames Research Center. ISBN 0-9645537-0-8.