Mario Acuña

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Mario Acuña
Mario Acuña.jpg
Photograph of Acuña taken in 2007.
Born (1940-03-12)March 12, 1940
Córdoba, Argentina
Died March 5, 2009(2009-03-05) (aged 68)
Bowie, Maryland
Citizenship American
Fields Planetary magnetism
Institutions NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Mario Acuña (March 12, 1940 – March 5, 2009), born in Córdoba, Argentina, was a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the Space Plasmas and Planetary Magnetospheres Branches, and then as a Senior Astrophysicist. He was a major pioneer in the field of planetary magnetism.

Acuña became a naturalized U.S. citizen in April 1994. He earned a B.A. degree from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in 1962, an MSEE degree from the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán in 1967, and a Ph.D. in Space Physics from the Catholic University of America in 1974.

Acuña was a principal investigator on magnetometer experiments flown on numerous missions over the years, from the Pioneer 11 Fluxgate Magnetometer Experiment in 1973 to the Mars Global Surveyor Magnetic Field Experiment in 1994, and the MESSENGER magnetometer. He was also the recipient of many professional awards, including election to the National Academy of Science, the Moe Schneebaum Memorial Award (the highest engineering award at Goddard), the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Dr. Acuña died March 5, 2009, aged 68, of multiple myeloma at his home in Bowie, Maryland.

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