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 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.
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
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."