Dr. Angelo Grubisic, 38, an astronautical engineer and a university lecturer who had worked at both NASA and the European Space Agency, died Tuesday while partaking in a planned base jump.
The scientist has had experience BASE jumping, previously leading a wingsuit design team at the University of Southampton and was crowned a British wingsuit champion just last month, the BBC reported.
His family told the broadcaster that Grubisic was “phenomenally talented” and lost his life “doing what he loved the most, wingsuit base jumping.”
“We want to ensure his achievements and ambitions are known to the world and to celebrate the mark he made on all of our lives,” the family’s statement continued. “Angelo captivated the hearts and minds of every single person who was privileged to meet and work with him.”
The family added: “‘The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long' has never rung more true to the family and friends Angelo had across the world.”
The University of Southampton, where Grubisic taught, said in a statement: “We are extremely saddened and shocked by the death of Angelo and our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”
“Angelo made many pioneering contributions to the University's research into astronautics and was incredibly popular with his students and colleagues,” the statement added.
Grubisic has been working on improving a wingsuit since 2015, when he set up a special project group at the university in an effort to both improve safety and break world records, the BBC reported.
Earlier this year he also gave evidence at an inquest into the death of Rob Haggarty, a famed wingsuit jumper, who died in 2018 after losing the control during a jump in Italy.