Dr. Thomas A. Mutch, 49, associate administrator for space science at NASA headquarters here, died Tuesday on a mountain-climbing expedition in Kashmir, a spokesman for the State Department said Sunday.
No details about the circumstances of the death on Mount Nun in Kashmir were immediately available, the spokesman said. However, an Indian liaison officer with the seven-member expedition led by Dr. Mutch said all other members of the party were safe and planned to continue their assault on the mountain, begun Oct. 7.
Dr. Mutch's body was taken to the town of Kargil from the base camp at Tangoie, 370 miles north of New Delhi.
Dr. Mutch was a native of Rochester, N.Y., and held advanced geology degrees from Rutgers and Princeton universities. He spent 19 years with the geological sciences department at Brown University before joining NASA in 1979 to direct space activites.
In a statement released Sunday, NASA Administrator Robert A. Frosch said that Dr. Mutch's "contributions to the space-science programs of the United States are many and earned for him an extraordinary reputation among his peers"
He was a resident of Kensington.
Dr. Mutch's survivors include his wife, Madeline M., and three children.