Herbert Gursky was the Superintendent of the Naval Research Laboratory's Space Science Division and Chief Scientist of the E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research. Dr. Gursky's research activities concentrated in the area of X-ray astronomy. He was the Principal Investigator for NASA sponsored space programs on the Astronomical Netherlands Satellite and the 1st High Energy Astrophysics Observatory (HEAO-1) satellite.
Dr. Gursky is best known as a member of the group that made the discovery of cosmic x-ray sources in 1961, his work with sounding rockets (he actually launched the June 12, 1962, rocket) that culminated in the optical identification of the bright X-ray source Scorpius X-1 in 1966, and later Cygnus X-1, his work on clusters of galaxies and the diffuse X-ray background from the Uhuru satellite and the discovery of X-ray bursters on the Astronomical Netherlands Satellite.