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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