23 April 2015. José Mariano Gago was an engaging man, so full of passion for science and its various disciplines, such as space. You felt the passion when you first met Mariano, and it never paled, however many times you met him. Mariano would impress on both the convinced and the unconvinced the importance of science, investing in science, creating good national and international programmes on science, and using science for societal progress. Mariano had the good fortune, or rather the skill and determination, to be in a position to influence the direction of science, both as an engaged and distinguished scientist himself and as a politician and minister.
José Mariano Gago became a member of the Advisory Council of ESPI last year, and immediately impressed everybody with his knowledge and his focus on making space matter. We feel deeply deprived by having lost Mariano, but count ourselves fortunate to have benefitted from his wisdom and friendship. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time of mourning!