William M. Kaula

Award Winner

1926 – 2000


Who was William M. Kaula?

William M. Kaula was an Australian-born American geophysicist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Kaula was most notable for his contributions to geodesy, including using early earth satellites to produce gravity maps of Earth. He was a participant in several NASA missions, as a team leader on Apollos 15, 16 and 17. The National Academies Press called Kaula "the father of space-based geodesy". The Los Angeles Times called him "one of the leading planetary physicists of the last four decades". He was a recipient of Whitten Medal of the American Geophysical Union and of the Brouwer Award of the American Astronomical Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences for his scientific contributions without ever getting a doctorate, a pretty rare case. 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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May 19, 1926
Also known as
  • William Mason Kaula
  • Australia
  • United States of America
  • United States Military Academy
  • Master of Science, Ohio State University
    (1952 - )
Lived in
  • Los Angeles
    (1963 - 2000/04/01)
Apr 1, 2000
Los Angeles

on July 23, 2013


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