November 27, 2000 will be a day that I will always sadly remember. For on that day I received an electronic mail telling me that my dear friend, Vasily V. Martynenko had passed away. I had cooresponded with him since the early 1970's and we shared our love for astronomy especially meteors. I received books and journals from him about science in the Soviet Union and picture albums of the Crimean region. I sent him astronomy journals in return. Vasily loved to do scenic paintings of certian areas in the Crimea. He and his students went on many meteor expeditions to various areas of the Soviet Union and they also made solar and planet observations. One of their feats was the making of a 12 inch refractor which is still used. The irony was that I received his last letter on November 24, 2000 and in it he told me he was very happy that he had received my astronomy calendar for 2001 and also had been awarded a medal and diploma from the Supreme Soviet of Crimean Autonomous Republic for "Meritorious Worker of Education of Crimean Autonomous Republic." He had just celebrated his 70th birthday on July 31. He was also one of the co-founding and council members of the International Meteor Organization -IMO. He will be missed by all who knew him and especially by me. I have lost a very dear friend and collegue. When I see a meteor I will remember you in my thoughts. Farewell Vasily, you are now among the star in the Cosmos ( "Kocmoc" ) that was your life long passion. This is a group photo of the Soviet meteor group and in the photo Vasily is standing at far right along with the other Soviet amateurs Soviet meteor groupAlso, there is a main belt asteroid named after him:
19962 Martynenko Discovered 1986 Sept.7 by L. I. Chernykh at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. Vasily Vasil'evich Martynenko (1930-2000) was a researcher of meteor streams, an organizer of annual meteor expeditions and author of many papers and books. He organized an observatory for young amateurs in Simferopol, a studio of space paintings and a mineralogical museum.