NASA’s former chief exploration scientist, Michael Wargo, has been posthumously honored with the distinction of having a lunar crater named after him. Wargo Crater is an 8.6-mile (13.8 km) diameter impact crater sitting on the northwest edge of Joule T crater, on the far side of the Moon. Wargo worked at NASA from 1991 until his death in 2013.
The International Astronomical Union is the naming authority for celestial bodies, and reserves the naming of Moon craters for deceased astronauts and cosmonauts, as well as deceased scientists and polar explorers who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field.
Wargo had many remarkable contributions to exploration science throughout his 20-year career at NASA. He was known as a science ambassador to the public, and for his ability to decipher complex science for students and nontechnical audiences. He was passionate about scientific discoveries that would enable human exploration in deep space, and worked with planetary researchers around the world to develop robotic discovery missions.