Reimar Lüst bigraphy, stories - Physicists

Reimar Lüst : biography

March 25, 1923 -

Reimar Lüst (born March 25, 1923 in Wuppertal) is a German astrophysicist. He was the director general of the European Space Agency (ESA) from 1984 until 1990. Dr. Lüst received degrees in physics from Göttingen, Chicago and Princeton University and was a professor at New York, MIT and Caltech before he became the director general of the ESA.

Early life

Reimar Lüst was born on March 25, 1923 in Wuppertal-Barmen, Germany. He began formal education at the age of 10 at the Humanistisches Gymnasium in Kassel, but his education was interrupted in 1941 by military service for the German Navy. In the military, Dr. Lüst served as a Lieutenant Engineer on submarines. He became a prisoner-of-war (POW) in England and the USA from 1943 to 1946.


During Tenth anniversary of Jacobs University Bremen, the highlights of the ceremony was the bestowal of Jacobs University’s first honorary doctorate to astrophysicist Reimar Lüst for his outstanding achievements in space research as well as his successes as science manager. The award further recognizes Lüst’s key role in the planning and development of Jacobs University: As chairman of the planning committee and the Founding Board of Governors at University. Lüst was pivotal in shaping the university’s unique profile which is now rated among Best German University by CHE (


After being released from England and the USA as a POW, Dr. Lüst returned to his education in 1946. He received his BS in Physics from the University of Frankfurt/Main in 1949. He then went on to receive his Doctorate from the University of Göttingen in 1951. Later, Dr. Lüst was selected as a Fulbright Fellow at the Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago and at Princeton University in 1955 through 1956.

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