A former NASA scientist from Britain recently died in a tragic base-jumping accident in Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Angelo Grubišić, a 38-year-old British national, was taking part in a planned jump in the kingdom when the incident took place. His death comes just years after Grubišić began a project aimed at enhancing the sport’s safety.
In July, the astronautical engineer was crowned British wingsuit champion by the British Parachute Association. He had also reportedly carried out numerous jumps – a combination of skydiving and hang gliding – throughout his lifetime. The late scientist had also been leading a wingsuit design team at the University of Southampton in England, as well as lecturing in astronautics and advanced propulsion.
“He was hands-down the most extraordinary person I knew”
Grubišić’s work spans across several fields. He previously worked on spacecraft propulsion for the European Space Agency and NASA. He was also a consultant engineer for the European Space Agency’s BepiColombo mission to Mercury in 2018.
In 2015, he founded the “Icarus Project” with an aim to design a world-record-breaking wingsuit all while improving safety.
In a statement to the BBC, his family described him as “phenomenally talented.”
“Angelo lost his life doing what he loved the most, wingsuit base jumping, and we want to ensure his achievements and ambitions are known to the world and to celebrate the mark he made on all of our lives,” they said.
“Super sad to hear that one of my former lecturers has died, especially like this”
In 2018, another British tourist died while base-jumping in Italy
According to The Mirror, Grubišić gave evidence into the death of fellow wingsuit jumper Rob Haggarty who died after he crashed into a cliff ledge on a 2,592m-high mountain in Italy.
As he attempted the jump, his lower body “caught the cliff edge and he went spinning forward,” The Independent reported.