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Tributes to space scientist killed in freak balloon crash

PUBLISHED: 21:49 01 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 05 October 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid to an astronomy scientist from East London involved in the Cassini space project who died is a freak balloon accident on holiday in Turkey. Two hot air balloons collided which killed Dr Kevin Beurle, a 53-year-old lecturer at the London University's Queen Mary college

By Julia Gregory

TRIBUTES have been paid to an astronomy scientist from East London involved in the Cassini space programme who died is a freak balloon accident on holiday.

Two hot air balloons collided mid air which killed Dr Kevin Beurle, a 53-year-old lecturer at the London University’s Queen Mary college in Mile End. Nine other people were injured in the accident in Turkey.

Dr Beurle joined the Astronomy unit in 1991 and was directly involved with the design of image sequences for the Cassini space cameras and had a key role in the research based on the images sent back by the spacecraft.

SHOCKED

Shocked colleagues in the college astronomy department at Queen Mary’s spoke today of their sadness at his death.

Prof Carl Murray said: “Kevin liked every aspect of his work on the Cassini project and made fundamental contributions to the success of the mission. He will be missed by his numerous friends in the Cassini community around the world.”

A statement from the Acting Principal of Queen Mary’s, Prof Philip Ogden, offered condolence to Kevin’s family. It added: “Kevin was an extremely popular member of staff and will be greatly missed.”

Dr Beurle was also as a scuba instructor and was keen on mountaineering and skiing. He was a lifelong vegetarian following a family tradition started by his great-great-grandfather George Dornbusch, who was a founder-member of the Vegetarian Society in 1850.

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