Hasso Bernhard Niemann

May 3, 1933July 11, 2013

Hasso B. Niemann passed away peacefully at home in Columbia, Maryland on July 11, 2013 after a brief battle with cancer.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Helga, his children Kirsten and Erik, and his granddaughters Brooke and Danielle.

Born in Germany in 1933, Dr. Niemann graduated from the University of Michigan and spent over 38 years as a Researcher and then as the Head of the Atmospheric Experiment Branch and the Laboratory for Atmospheres at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He worked on the Pioneer Venus Mission and was a Principal Investigator on Jupiter’s Galileo Probe and on the Huygens Probe on Saturn’s Cassini spacecraft.

His many awards include NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal for his career contributions in mass spectrometry, the Lindsay Award for Goddard scientists who achieve major scientific advances, and the Al Seiff Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of atmospheres of planets or moons through the use of high-speed probes that enter those atmospheres.

A memorial gathering will be held on Thursday, July 18, 2013 from 5-7 pm with a funeral service at 6pm at the Witzke Funeral Homes, Inc., 5555 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21045. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gilchrist Hospice Care at or sent to 5537 Twin Knolls Road, Suite 434, Columbia, MD 21045.


  • Memorial Gathering Thursday, July 18, 2013
  • Memorial Service Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hasso Bernhard Niemann

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ed Patrick

July 17, 2013

I was so sad to learn of the passing of my mentor and friend Hasso B. Niemann. He was a boss who demanded the best from his people and surrounded himself by a team who gave it. I have experienced no more enriching relationship with a colleague than the hours spent in the lab working alongside the Emeritus Dr. Niemann after his retirement. I continue to design and build vacuum systems that preserve his “Prussian sense of symmetry,” and I will always be grateful that he gave a mediocre “cabinet maker” the opportunity to participate in space science. He is sorely missed.

Cynthia Gundersen

July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013
Hasso was a true mentor and friend to so many of us in the Goddard mass spectrometry group. He was the impetus behind the hard work ethic and team spirit that still exists today. I will always remember his gracious nature and his steady push to bring the best out of all of us.
My warmest condolences to Helga and family.

Jesse Lewis

July 16, 2013

I am grateful of the opportunity Hasso gave me that started my career at Goddard. He was brilliant, a great mentor, and will be sorely missed.

Ray Bendt

July 16, 2013

Hasso hired me in 2092 and have enjoyed working for him. He was such a wonderful person and a pleasure to be around. Working for him was a challenge because he wanted the very best for his projects and worked with me to produce do that. He was my boss but also a very good friend. I will miss him very much.
Ray Bendt

Jaime Demick

July 15, 2013

I will always remember Hasso's glowing smile and red cheeks, a smile that always cheered me up. Hasso gave me great trust and responsibilty, and I will always remember him as my mentor and friend. My life is better for knowing him, and I will always cherish the memories. Thank you, Hasso- I wish you God speed.

Alan Hedin

July 15, 2013

I enjoyed knowing Hasso for many years during my career at Goddard. His willingness to share his Pioneer Venus data, as well as his insights into mass spectrometer problems, was very helpful to me. He will be missed.

Dan Harpold

July 15, 2013

I have known and worked with Hasso for over 40 years and he became a big part of my life. His extraordinary talents and brilliant engineering judgment made impossible things happen. He built up the mass spectrometer group to where it is considered a national resource and it was a pleasure and privilege to have worked so closely with him over these exciting years. He was a very gentle man and I will miss him very much.

Eric Raaen

July 15, 2013

I feel privileged to have worked for Hasso for many years. He was a demanding boss and a great mentor. I will miss him dearly.

Will Brinckerhoff

July 15, 2013

I was privileged to know and work with Hasso first when I was an external collaborator and later after I joined Goddard. His work served as a example of quality and thoroughness to strive for. He provided me with several pieces of good advice, and it was always a pleasure to talk with him. Condolences to Helga and family.

Wayne Kasprzak

July 14, 2013

I have known Hasso since he came to GSFC from Michigan. I certainly will miss him, his expertise and his insights. My sympathy to Helga and her family; there will be a void that cannot be filled by mere words.