Roald Z. Sagdeyev was one of the leading lights of Soviet Space Science from the 1960s through the 1980s. He was involved in virtually every lunar and planetary probe of the Soviet Union during this era, including the highly successful Venera and Vega missions. He also advised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on space and arms control at the 1986 Geneva, 1987 Washington, and 1988 Moscow summits. In the late 1980s he left the Soviet Union and settled in the United States where he headed the East-West Science and Technology Centre at the University of Maryland, College Park. He summarised his experiences within the Soviet system in his book The Making of a Soviet Scientist: My Adventures in Nuclear Fusion and Space From Stalin to Star Wars (New York: John Wiley, 1995).