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Andy Lubenow
Space Telescope Science Institute
(1956-2005)

Andy Lubenow was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the age of eight, he accompanied his parents and sister to South America, where they lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for several years. They returned to the states when he was in tenth grade. Andy was active in amateur astronomy on both continents, using a home-built 6-inch telescope to view objects in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. He built his own 8" reflector telescope, including grinding the mirror himself, at the age of 14.

Andy Lubenow

Andy attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and later received his Bachelors degree in astrophysics from the University of Minnesota, working as an assistant to astronomer Dr. William Luyten. He received a Masters degree in astronomy from the University of Illinois, in Champaign, Illinois, and continued other post-graduate studies there.

He began working at the Space Telescope Science Institute after graduating in 1985. As a program coordinator he provided exceptional support to the Hubble Space Telescope as an innovator and expert observation planner, especially for solar system targets, over the lifetime of HST. He had specialized in devising methods for and implementing observations of moving targets. His work was critical to the success of most of the solar system observations carried out on HST. He was part of the operational team that implemented the HST observations of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacting Jupiter in June, 1994; he developed and implemented the HST observations of the closest approach of Mars in August, 2001 and 2003; and he helped develop requirements for Solar System observations for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

Andy Lubenow with his plane

An avid sailor, he owned his own Catilina sailboat, dearly named Spica. For many years, Andy sailed up and down the Chesapeake Bay. He obtained his private pilot's license a few years ago, flying his Piper Cherokee up and down the East Coast for recreation, as well as cross-country to visit family in Minnesota and California. He was also a meticulous model railroad enthusiast, striving for realistic details in many of the buildings and scenes that accompanied his model trains.

Near the end of his science career, Andy Lubenow was awarded with an asteroid named in his honor. Asteroid "Lubenow" was discovered in 1997 by long-time friend and collaborator Marc Buie. Currently at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, Marc worked at Space Telescope in Baltimore from 1988 - 1991.

"I worked closely with Andy after the launch of the telescope in April 1990 to develop procedures and methods for supporting solar system observations with HST. Then, and through the rest of his career at STScI he was extremely important in the successes we've all seen of HST observations of solar system targets. He was a good friend and close co-worker and provided excellent support on projects that I've had with HST. He was very much deserving of the honor of having this asteroid named after him."

Learn more about Asteroid (65885) Lubenow
discovered by Marc W. Buie in 1997