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James Van Allen

>IOWA CITY, Iowa - Physicist James A. Van Allen, a leader in space
>exploration who discovered the radiation belts surrounding the 
>Earth that now bear his name, died Wednesday. In a career that 
>stretched over more than a half-century, Van Allen designed 
>scientific instruments for dozens of research flights, first with 
>small rockets and balloons, and eventually with space probes that 
>traveled to distant planets and beyond. Van Allen gained global 
>attention in the late 1950s when instruments he designed and placed 
>aboard the first U.S. satellite, Explorer I, discovered the bands 
>of intense radiation that surround the earth, now known as the 
>Van Allen Belts. 


When I told my parents that I was going to attend graduate school in a small
town in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa, they thought I was crazy until
my mother looked up "Iowa" in the encyclopedia and that brief article
mentioned that Dr James Van Allen worked at the University of Iowa in Iowa
City. Then she understood why I was going there.

I had the distinct privilege of taking several space physics classes from Dr
Van Allen during my time at the U of Iowa. I was probably one of his least
distinguished students but he was always a friendly and helpful professor who
didn't mind the occasional dumb question from a student.

Dan Schultz N8FGV
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