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A scientist who devised an ultra-sensitive gas detection device which Apollo astronauts took to the moon has died, it has been reported.

Doctor Francis Johnson was the first to recognise that the outermost part of the Earths atmosphere is enveloped in hydrogen, according to the Dallas Morning News.

He helped establish the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) and later saw his atmospheric experiments land on the moon.

His wife, Maurine Johnson from Dallas recalled how Dr Johnson was the fourth person – and the first scientist – to be hired at the school before it became a university.

She stated: “[He] was able to get grants and get things going here.

“He said he wasnt a politician, he was a research physicist.”

Shortly before he passed away, Dr Johnson spoke about his realisation that the only way to preserve UT Dallas was to bring it under state support.

He died from stroke complications aged 91.

Written by Claire Manning


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