William M. Kaula

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William M. Kaula (May 19, 1926 – April 1, 2000) was an Australian-born American geophysicist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.[1][2][3][4][5] Kaula was most notable for his contributions to geodesy, including using early earth satellites to produce gravity maps of Earth.[1] He was a participant in several NASA missions, as a team leader on Apollos 15, 16 and 17.[4] The National Academies Press called Kaula "the father of space-based geodesy".[2] The Los Angeles Times called him "one of the leading planetary physicists of the last four decades".[4] He was a recipient of Whitten Medal of the American Geophysical Union and of the Brouwer Award of the American Astronomical Society.[2] He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences for his scientific contributions notwithstanding his not having a doctorate, a rare such instance.[2] He did graduate from West Point, the top military school in the United States and received an M.S. degree from Ohio State University. Asteroid 5485 Kaula is named after him.

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