Harry Elliot, a pioneer of British space science and known worldwide for his work on cosmic rays, passed away in July 2009. Coming from a farming family in the Anglo-Scottish borders, he entered Manchester University at the outbreak of war. After service in the Coastal Command of the Royal Air Force, he returned to Manchester to work with Patrick Blackett on the origin of primary cosmic rays, a scientific pursuit he followed for the rest of his career. In 1954 he moved with Blackett to Imperial College. After playing an important part in the International Geophysical Year, the dawn of the space age gave him the opportunity to be the originator of one of the major British space research groups. Subsequently, through his long-standing service at high level in the UK Science Research Council, the European Space Research Organisation and the European Space Agency, he played an important part in steering the development of British astronomical facilities as well as the evolution of European space science.
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