who has conducted research into the surface of the Moon and the planets.
Working for the US space agency NASA from 1962, he participated in the Mariner,
Apollo, Viking, Pioneer, and Voyager programmes.
Masursky was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and studied at Yale.
After 11 years with the US Geological Survey, he transferred to the branch for astrogeological studies and began work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Masursky was responsible for the surveying of lunar and planetary surfaces, particularly in regard to the choice of landing sites. He was a member of the working groups that monitored and guided the Moon landing 1969 and analysed the data afterwards. He led the team that monitored observations of Mars made by Mariner 9 1971, then selected landing sites on Mars for the Viking probes 1975.
In 1978, Masursky joined the Venus Orbiter Imaging Radar Science Working Group. The surface of Venus, hidden from visual or televisual observation by its thick layer of cloud, was mapped on the basis of radar readings taken from the orbiting Pioneer probe.