Date and place of birth

Born: 29 February 1944 in Rakvere, Estonia


1969-1972 Astronomical Council AS USSR, postgraduate student

1964 -1969 Moscow State University, astronomy (cum laude)

1962 -1964 Tartu State University, physics

Scientific Career

1972 Moscow State University, Astronomical Institute, Cand. Sci. in Physics and Mathematics

1984 Institute of Space Research, Moscow, Dr.Sci. in Physics and Mathematics

1972 -1974 Institute of Physics and Astronomy Estonian AS, Junior Researcher,

1974 – 1988 Astronomical Council of the USSR AS, Junior Researcher, Executive Secretary, Senior and Leading Researcher

1988-2015 University of Tartu, Professor of Astrophysics, Head of Physics Dept. (1992-1998)

1972-1973 Copernicus scholarship (Poland)

1997 Estonian Academy of Sciences, Member of Academy

1994 Göttingen Academy of Sciences, Gauss Guest Professor

1997 Amsterdam University Guest Professor

Political Career

2003 – 2015 Member of the Estonian Parliament, Speaker (2003-2006 and 2007-2013), Vice-Speaker (2006)

Membership in other organisations

2014- ESPI Advisory council member

2004 - Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, foreign member

2001 Royal Astronomical Society, associate member

1996 – International Astronomical Union (IAU); member

European Astronomical Society (EAS)

1998 – 2003 Estonian Science Foundation (EstSF), Chairperson of the Council;

2002 - 2004 European Council, DG “Science and Society”, Committee Adviser

2002 – 2004 ENWISE (Enlarge “Women in Science” to East), Expert Group, Chair

2000 – 2005 ALLEA (All European Academies), Committee “Science & Ethics, member

2002 - 2005 Descartes Grand Jury, member; president 2003- 2005

1984 – 1988 USSR Academy of Sciences Belopolski Astrophysics Prize Committee, Executive Secretary

USSR Academy of Sciences, Journal “Soviet Astronomy Letters”, Editorial Board, Executive Secretary, 1982 – 1988


More than 100 publication


2014 Skytte medal, Tartu University

2008 Medal of the Baltic Assembly

2008 Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau, Nederlands

2008 Grand Cross of the Order of Crown, Belgium

2008 Order of the National Coat of Arms, 2nd class, Republic of Estonia

2007 Royal Order of the North Star, 1st class, Sweden

2007 Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria

2005 Commander's Cross of the Order of Republic of Poland

2004 Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

2004 The Medal of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

2003 Grand Officer of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique, Portugal

2002 Republic of Estonia Science Award in Exact Sciences

2001 Order of the White Star, 4th class

Yearbook on Space Policy

India in Space: Between Utility and Geopolitics

A Fresh View on the Outer Space Treaty

Space Resource Utilization: A View from an Emerging Space Faring Nation

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