Eugene Merle Shoemaker

Gene Shoemaker
Gene Shoemaker at his office in Flagstaff, Arizona

Gene Shoemaker

The impact of comets has profoundly influenced the story of life." 
-- Gene Shoemaker

"Every time a giant comet strikes the Earth, the dice of evolution are thrown again." David Levy, Comets: Creators and Destroyers;Touchstone Books. 1998

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Gene Shoemaker Timeline

28 Apr 1928 - Gene is born in Los Angeles, California
 1948 - Gene, age 21 decides to go to the Moon.
 1960 - Ph.D. degree at Princeton (1960), Shoemaker studied the impact dynamics of Barringer Meteor Crater
1961 - 1965 Prominently involved in the Lunar Ranger Program
1961 - Founded the Astrogeology Research Program of the United States Geological Survey
1965 - Awarded the John Price Wetherill Medal from the Franklin Institute 
1966 - 1972 Training astronauts for the Apollo Program
1969 - Caltech where he began the search for Earth-crossing asteroids and where he advanced the idea that sudden geologic changes can arise from asteroid strikes and that asteroid strikes are common over geologic time periods.
October 17, 1974 -  E. F. Helin discovers a minor planet and names it 2074 Shoemaker.
1984  - Received the Barringer Medal 
1992 - Received National Medal of Science  
1993 - Co-discovered Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 using the 18" Schmidt camera at Palomar Observatory. This comet was unique in that it provided the first opportunity for scientists to observe the planetary impact of a comet. Shoemaker–Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994.
18 July 1997 - A road accident near Alice Springs ends the
life of Eugene M. Shoemaker, the 20th century's greatest planetary
geologist.  Coroner's Report
06 Jan 1998 - Aboard an Athena rocket "Lunar
is launched to the Moon carrying a small amount of Gene's
cremains. It's mission: to map the moon for elements. It's discovery:
confirmation of water/ice in craters at the lunar poles.
31 July 1999 - Impact of "Lunar Prospector"
occurred at 09:52:02 GMT, 02:52am Pacific Daylight Time. 
Near Shoemaker
Artist Concept: Near Shoemaker at Eros
February 2000 - The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous space probe to asteroid 433 Eros was renamed "NEAR Shoemaker" in his honor.  After a year of orbital study, it landed on the asteroid.