“An Interview with Dr. George Carruthers, Apollo Astrophysicist,” Interview by Glen E. Swanson
Quest Volume: 28 #1 (2021)
George R. Carruthers was the principal designer of the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph that was placed on the Moon as part of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. The device returned several hundred images in the far ultraviolet part of the spectrum that revealed new information about the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere and interstellar space. Carruthers grew up on Chicago’s South Side in a ghetto. Though the environment in which he spent his formative years was not conducive to learning, it could not suppress his interest in science, specifically space science. He joined the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as an astrophysicist in 1964 after completing his PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at the University of Illinois. From 1966 to 1982, Dr. Carruthers had responsibility for an average of one sounding rocket experiment a year and designed instruments that were used aboard Skylab, the Space Shuttle, and various satellites. He received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, was named to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
Carruthers, George R. “An Interview with Dr. George Carruthers, Apollo Astrophysicist.” Interview with Glen E. Swanson. Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly 28, no. 1 (2021): 27-44.