Cheston understood that as humanity becomes a spacefaring civilization
we inevitably will take our social institutions, interactions,
and problems with us. In many ways, his life illustrates the range
and depth of his commitment to assist our cosmic evolution.
Dr. Cheston was born in Buffalo, NY and lived as a child in Latin
America, where his father worked for U.S. Steel. Dr. Cheston later
served in the Peace Corps in Colombia, forging lifelong friendships
as he assisted in developing agricultural cooperatives.
He was a graduate of Clark University and received a doctorate
in Russian History from Georgetown University. Dr. Cheston's academic
career kept him at Georgetown from 1972 to 1983 as assistant dean,
associate dean, and acting dean of the graduate school, as well
as history research professor.
While at Georgetown, Dr. Cheston's interest in, and influence
over, the emerging field of space utilization reached a peak.
Present and contributing at the creation of almost all of the
significant new space organizations arising in the mid-1970s,
he became the person in Washington whose judgement guided a new
generation of entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and academics.
His space related activities included: founding the Institute
for the Social Science Study of Space; serving as a director of
the Space Studies Institute (Princeton); editing a series of journals
and books on space utilization; testifying before Congress; participating
as a delegate at the World Radio Conferences of the International
Telecommunications Union; and membership on the industry advisory
committee of the Federal Communications Commission.
One of Steve's most enduring contributions to the field of space
utilization was inspiring and tutoring many who shared his interests
and vision. He was always available to counsel, instruct, or simply
enjoy the friendship of the constant stream of students arriving
at his doorstep.
Dr. Cheston successfully made the transition from academia to
industry in 1983 when he co-founded Geostar Corporation, a pioneering
venture in satellite positioning systems. In 1991 he joined Motorola
Corporation's satellite division, ultimately rising to director
of international government affairs for Motorola's innovative
Steve's wife, Arleen, and two sons Aric and Thor, chose the Celestis
service for Steve knowing that he would follow his close friend,
Dr. Gerry O'Neill, into Earth orbit. It is altogether fitting
that these two pioneers of the modern space age are symbolically
linked and honored as they travel through the heavens together.