Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Remembering former SPRL researcher Dr. Marsha Torr

Posted: March 24, 2015

Remembering former SPRL researcher Dr. Marsha Torr

Dr. Marsha Torr, a former research scientist for the U-M Space Physics Research Laboratory, passed away on March 9, 2015.

According to an article from the University of Pittsburgh, Torr joined SPRL in 1974, where she conducted studies on the photochemistry of the thermosphere as Co-Investigator of the multi-institutional Atmosphere Explorer satellite program.

“She was selected to develop an array of advanced imaging spectrometers to fly on the Spacelab 1 mission, establishing the necessary laboratory facilities and personnel for this development. She played an active role in the international Investigator Working Group activities for the mission, serving as chairman of the Atmospheric and Earth Sciences Discipline group and on the selection committee for the Payload Specialists,” the article states.

She left U-M in 1980 for a position with Utah State University. She went on to serve NASA, the University of South Carolina, the University of Nebraska, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

According to MLive, Torr earned her PhD in Physics at Rhodes University in 1969, the second woman in South Africa to achieve this.

To read her obituary, please visit

To read the University of Pittsburgh article on her career, please click here.

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