Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Colombo, Giuseppe

  • Leonardo Gariboldi
Reference work entry

BornPadua, Italy, 2 October 1920

DiedPadua, Italy, 20 February 1984

Giuseppe Colombo, better known under his nickname “Bepi,” was a mathematician, whose researches focused on celestial mechanics, the exploration of the Solar System, and space technology. In particular, he studied the spin-orbital coupling in the motion of Mercury around the Sun, the unstable areas of Saturn’s rings, and the motion of planetary probes with swingby maneuvers. He also suggested the use of tethered satellites.

Son of Roberto Colombo and Agnese Paccagnella, the ninth one of ten children, Giuseppe Colombo attended schools in Padua. In 1939, he moved to Pisa to study mathematics at the Scuola Normale Superiore. During World War II, he fought with the Italian army against the Soviet Union. In 1943, after returning to Pisa, he graduated in mathematics and moved then to the University of Padua as Assistant Professor of Theoretical Mechanics. Colombo was appointed Full Professor of Applied Mechanics at the same...

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Selected References

  1. Campogalliani, Paolo. “Colombo, Giuseppe.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, volume 34, 1988.Google Scholar
  2. Caporali, Alessandro. “Colombo: un uomo rivolto al futuro.” Padova e il suo territorio 10, 1987: 8–11.Google Scholar
  3. Caprara, Giovanni. Più lontano nello spazio. Storia di Giuseppe Colombo. Milano: Sperling & Kupfer Editori, 2006.Google Scholar
  4. Farinella, Paolo; Milani, Andrea; Nobili, Anna Maria. “Un pioniere italiano dell’esplorazione spaziale.” L’Astronomia, 32 (1984): 26–29.Google Scholar
  5. Flamini, Enrico. “Bepi Colombo: the mission, the instruments.” Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana, 82 (2011): 386–393.ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Franklin, Fred; Grossi, Mario; Lautman, Don; Lecar, Myron; Shapiro, Irwin. “Giuseppe Colombo 1920–1984.” Icarus, 62 (1985): 1–3.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Gariboldi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly