Thomas A. Mutch

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Thomas Mutch
Born Thomas A. "Tim" Mutch
(1931-08-26)August 26, 1931
Rochester, New York
Disappeared October 6, 1980 (aged 49)
disappeared during a descent from Mount Nun in the Kashmir Himalayas.
Status Missing for 37 years, 3 months and 12 days
Nationality American

Thomas A. (Tim) Mutch (August 26, 1931 – October 6, 1980)[1] was an American geologist and planetary scientist. He was a professor at Brown University from 1960 until his death. He was presumed killed when he disappeared during descent from Mount Nun in the Kashmir Himalayas.


He published two books about the geology of the Moon and of Mars ("The Geology of Mars", published 1977). As head of the Viking surface photography team, he is quoted as commenting on the first pictures: "This is just an incredible scene. It looks safe and very interesting."

A crater on Mars was named in his honor, and the Viking 1 lander was formally renamed "Thomas A. Mutch Memorial Station" on Jan 7, 1981 by then NASA Administrator, Robert A. Frosch; the engineering model currently displayed in the Smithsonian Institution has a small plaque beside it commemorating this, and a note that it will be left with the actual lander when circumstances permit. The Thomas "Tim" Mutch Memorial Fund was established in 1981 by his family and friends.

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