It is with deep regret that we inform you that Professor Nikolai Tolyarenko died in Moscow on 31 December. Nikolai Tolyarenko (born in St Petersburg on the 19th of March 1941) gained a strong reputation in the space community as a specialist in orbital mechanics and propulsion systems.
He worked in this field at the (then named) NPO Energia consortium, the largest space enterprise in Russia.
As an engineer and mathematician, his PhD dissertation of 1969 covered this topic and was named "On Some Problems of the Manned Moon Missions Using Intermediate Orbits". It was related to work he did on the Russian Moon program. Also other books he wrote showed his broad knowledge of space technology. Just to quote a few from his many contributions, demonstrating this broad scope of interest, we can refer to inter alia:
"Reusable Space Tags", 1973, GONTI-4.
"Reusable Space Servicing Crafts", 1973, GONTI-4
"Design and Tests of Life Support Systems for Space Station", 1974, GONTI-4
“Orbital Space Stations”, 1989 /Science and Technique Transactions, Rocket Manufacturing and Space Technique, V. 10/, VINITI
In addition he published an impressive number of papers in this field and wrote a number of remarkable chapters in ISU’s “Keys to Space” / An ISU Publication, McGraw-Hill, 1999.
This ISU reference brings us to a very important part of his career as a very talented teacher. As a professor of MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute) he first came in contact with ISU via the SSP (Space Studies Program) program in Strasbourg in 1989.
His enthusiasm and his strong drive to educate the next generation of space experts was very obvious from the beginning, and ISU did not fail to offer him the post of Director of the MSS (Master of Space Studies) program from August 1998 onwards. He really excelled in this position as an outstanding educator, who always was there when the students needed him. Probably the best way to illustrate this is the fact that many alumni clearly stated that he changed their life and was of paramount importance for their careers in the space sector, a sector which Nikolai loved.
The founders of ISU, Bob Richards and Peter Diamandis, sent us the following very appropriate message:
"Dear ISU Family,
We were very saddened to hear that the ISU family lost one of its most beloved elders, Nikolai Tolyarenko, on the eve of 2016. One of our longest standing and most dedicated faculty members, Nikolai loved ISU with a passion, retiring as Director of our Masters Program in 2011, but never leaving us, until now.
Nikolai was one of the pillars of ISU. We were all privileged to know him and thank him deeply for the transformation of the lives of so many he befriended, taught and mentored, and through whom his spirit lives on.
Thank you Nikolai."
Bob and Peter
It is evident from the several reactions which we receive that Nikolai's legacy as a teacher, mentor and friend to the ISU community, will never fade.
ISU lost a remarkable educator, Prof. Tolyarenko, but also an irreplaceable friend, Nikolai.
He will always remain part of the ISU spirit.