Alexander Zaitsev (astronomer)

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Aleksandr Zaitsev
Александр Леонидович Зайцев.jpg
Aleksandr Leonidovich Zaitsev

(1945-05-19)19 May 1945
Died29 November 2021(2021-11-29) (aged 76)
Known forthe chief scientist at the Russian Academy of Science's Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics
the SETI League's Regional Coordinator for Russia
Scientific career
FieldsRadar astronomy
Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (METI)
near-Earth asteroid radar research

Aleksandr Leonidovich Zaitsev (Russian: Александр Леонидович Зайцев; 19 May 1945 – 29 November 2021) was a Russian and Soviet radio engineer and astronomer from Fryazino.[1][2][3] He worked on radar astronomy devices, near-Earth asteroid radar research, and SETI.


Zaitsev received his M.Sc. degree in radio engineering from the Moscow Mining University in 1967 and his Ph.D. (1981) and his postdoctoral lecture qualification (1997) in radar astronomy from the Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, Russian Academy of Science in Moscow. He was a member of the Space Guard Foundation, the SETI League, and The European Radio Astronomy Club (E.R.A.C.).[4]


Zaitsev was the chief scientist at the Russian Academy of Science's Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics. He headed the group transmitting Team Encounter's interstellar messages[5] using the Yevpatoria (Evpatoria) Deep Space Center (EDSC).[6] Zaitsev was also serving as the SETI League's Regional Coordinator for Russia.[7]

Zaitsev's career has focused on three main topics: the theory, the design and implementation of radar devices used in the study of Venus, Mars, and Mercury; near-Earth asteroid radar research;[8] and interstellar radio messaging,[9] his later field of research. He retired in 2013.[citation needed]

Zaitsev observed the asteroid 4179 Toutatis[10][11] in December 1992 using the 70-m Yevpatorian Planetary Radar in Crimea (Ukraine), as a sounding signal transmitter, and the 100-m radio telescope in Effelsberg, Germany, as a receiver of the asteroid's radar echo.[citation needed]

In June 1995, Zaitsev was responsible for initiating the world's first intercontinental radar astronomy experiment; the radar groups participating in this experiment were led by Steven Ostro at JPL, Zaitsev in Yevpatoria, and Yasuhiro Koyama in Kashima, Japan. Ostro's group transmitted and received using the Goldstone site of the Deep Space Network, while Zaitsev received using the Yevpatoria site and Koyama's group received at Kashima. The target asteroid, 6489 Golevka, was later named for the participating observatories (GOL-EV-KA or GOLdstone-EVpatoria-KAshima). Zaitsev has also conducted work on using radar to determine the composition of asteroids and planetary bodies.[citation needed]

Zaitsev supervised the transmission of the 1999 and 2003 Cosmic Calls[12] from Yevpatoria Planetary Radar[13] (EPR).[14][15][16][10] Under his leadership, a youth group in Moscow composed and broadcast a 'Teen Age Message to ETI'. Zaitsev proposed three-section structure of interstellar radio messages, coined the acronym METI (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)[17][18] and the phrase 'SETI paradox',[19] which refers to an apparent "paradox" where two distant civilizations capable of interstellar communication will always remain silent unless one of them contacts the other first, resulting in a deadlock of silence. In 2005, in article "The Drake Equation: Adding a METI Factor" he suggested that a high technology is not enough for establishing contact with Aliens because appropriate behavior directed to practical realization of sending signals is necessary too.[citation needed][clarification needed]

In 2006–2011, Zaitsev was one of the contributors to the

  • ARTE's German-French TV documentation "Die Außerirdischen" ("Calling All Aliens") by Christian Schidlowski;[20][21]
  • Russian documentary "Overcome the Great Silence" by Vladislav Sidorov,[22]
  • Dutch documentary "Calling E.T." by Prosper de Roos,[23]
  • Dutch documentary "Alien Bits" by Prosper de Roos.[24]

Zaitsev died on 29 November 2021.[25]



  1. ^ Picture of Alexander Zaitsev during the ERAC Conference at the Starkenburg Observatory in Heppenheim, Germany, in 2004;
  2. ^ Official picture of Alexander Zaitsev –
  3. ^ Summary –
  4. ^ ERAC homepage –
  5. ^ Interstellar radio messages –
  6. ^ Yevpatoria Deep Space Communication Center – "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ SETI League: Archived 1 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ EuroRadar – Origin and Concepts of Design – "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Sending and Searching for Interstellar Messages – Archived 18 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b Zaitsev, Alexander (6 April 2006). "One-dimensional Radio Message for 'Blind' Aliens". Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  11. ^ [MPC No 25445, 1995] – excerpt of Lutz D. Schmadel, Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Springer, 5th Edition, page 508, article "(6075) Zaitsev"
  12. ^ Cosmic Call 2003 –
  13. ^ Planetary radar astronomy
  14. ^ Oberhaus, Daniel (27 September 2019). Extraterrestrial Languages. MIT Press. pp. 145–146. ISBN 978-0-262-35527-8. OCLC 1142708941.
  15. ^ Article "Design and Implementation of the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens" –
  16. ^ Article SETI-METI "Past – Present – Future" –
  17. ^ Zaitsev, Alexander; Braastad, Richard. "METI Art".
  18. ^ Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence
  19. ^ The SETI Paradox –
  20. ^ German Announcement of TV transmission "Die Außerirdischen" -
  21. ^ "National Geographic TV Shows, Specials & Documentaries". Archived from the original on 29 January 2009.
  22. ^ "The SETI League, Inc.: Translation of "Overcome the Great Silence!"".
  23. ^ "IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam".
  24. ^ "Private video on Vimeo".
  25. ^ Maxim Borisov (30 November 2021). "Умер ученый Александр Зайцев, отправлявший послания внеземным цивилизациям" [Alexander Zaitsev, who sent messages to extraterrestrial civilizations, has died] (in Russian). Gazeta.Ru. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  26. ^ Korolev Medal – "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (6075) Zajtsev. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 508. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  28. ^ "Jubilee medal".