Thomas A. Mutch

Thomas A. (Tim) Mutch (August 26, 1931 – October 6, 1980)[1] was an American geologist and planetary scientist. He was a professor at Brown University from 1960 until his death. He disappeared during descent from Mount Nun in the Kashmir Himalayas.[2]

Thomas Mutch
Thomas A. "Tim" Mutch

(1931-08-26)August 26, 1931
DisappearedOctober 6, 1980 (aged 49)
disappeared during a descent from Mount Nun in the Kashmir Himalayas.
StatusMissing for 40 years, 9 months and 25 days


He published two books about the geology of the Moon and of Mars (The Geology of Mars, published 1977). As head of the Viking surface photography team, he is quoted as commenting on the first pictures: "This is just an incredible scene. It looks safe and very interesting."

A crater on Mars was named in his honor, and the Viking 1 lander was formally renamed "Thomas A. Mutch Memorial Station" on January 7, 1981 by then NASA Administrator, Robert A. Frosch; the engineering model currently displayed in the Smithsonian Institution has a small plaque beside it commemorating this, and a note that it will be left with the actual lander when circumstances permit. The Thomas "Tim" Mutch Memorial Fund was established in 1981 by his family and friends.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Thomas A. Mutch Lecture Series | Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences". Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  2. ^ "Thomas A. Mutch, 1931-1980 - AAC Publications - Search The American Alpine Journal and Accidents". Retrieved 2019-05-23.

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