Prof. Nan Rendong, Chief Scientist and Chief Engineer for the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), died due to illness during the night of September 15 at age 72.
Professor Nan Rendong, a famous Chinese astronomer, researcher at National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chief Scientist and Chief Engineer of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) - a Chinese mega-science facility, and the former Deputy Director of Beijing Astronomical Observatory, died on September 15, 2017 at 23:23 Beijing Time due to illness, at the age of 72 years old.
Prof. Nan Rendong was theinitiator and founder of the FAST project. Since 1994, he was responsible for FAST site selection, pre-research and project proposals, feasibility studies and preliminary designs. As the Chief Scientist and Chief Engineer of the project, he was responsible for establishing the scientific goals of FAST, and guiding the construction of FAST. He presided over resolving a series of technical problems such as cable fatigue and moving the fiber optic cable, and made outstanding contributions to the successful completion of the FAST construction.
FAST, known as the "Sky Eye",which represents Chinese independent intellectual property, is the world's largest single aperture and most sensitive radio telescope. Prof. Nan Rendong was one of the earliest Chinese astronomers to have held an important position in the International Astronomical Union (IAU). He once served IAU as President of Division X Radio Astronomy (2006-2009), President of Commission 40 Radio Astronomy (2006-2009), Vice-President of Division X Radio Astronomy (2003-2006) and Vice-President of Commission 40 Radio Astronomy (2003-2006). He was also an outstanding comprehensive technical expert, and a well-established expert in astronomy and technology. In addition, he had cultivated a large number of scientific and technical talents.
Prof. Nan Rendong was devoted, generous, modest, sincere and selfless. He spared no efforts and made outstanding contributions to the development of Chinese astronomy. His unfortunate death is a tremendous loss for Chinese astronomy communities. We mourn and sincerely remember Prof. Nan Rendong.
According to Prof. Nan Rendong’s will, the funeral will be simple, and a memorial service will not be held.