In Memoriam: Prof. Nikolai Tolyarenko

It is with great sadness that we have just learned that Prof. Nikolai Tolyarenko passed away in Moscow on 31 December 2015.

Prof. Tolyarenko showing us the Soyuz Simulator, Star City, Russia, 2013

I had the priceless privelage of studying under Prof. Tolyarenko for several years while completing the MSS degree at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. Prof. Tolyarenko was a true master of the space transportation industry. His knowledge and ethos was without compare. As was his passion for sharing this knowledge with students for over 20 years at the ISU.

I have many times fondly recounted some of the phrases Prof. Tolyarenko used, the one I heard most often was: "Beautiful machine... But it will fly like the stone!". From him I learned the secrets of getting a payload to space, not only from a technical perspective but also commercial and political. His guidance and mentorship is directly responsible for the design of the ALV, and for the very fact that there is an ALV project. His generosity was such that he continued to provide valuable input to the ALV project until very recently, long after I had graduated from the ISU. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Farewell Prof. Tolyarenko on your journey through the stars. Like so many students I owe you an eternal gratitude. It is my sincere hope that the ALV will reach space as a tribute to you.