HOUSTON — NASA astronaut Janice Voss passed away from cancer Tuesday. Voss, 55, was one of only six women who have flown in space five times.
Voss began her career with NASA in 1973 while a student at Purdue University. She returned to NASA in 1977 to work as an instructor, teaching entry guidance and navigation to space shuttle crews.
After completing her doctorate in 1987, she worked within the aerospace industry until she was selected as an astronaut in 1990.
"As the payload commander of two space shuttle missions, Janice was responsible for paving the way for experiments that we now perform on a daily basis on the International Space Station," said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office.
"Even more than Janice’s professional contributions, we will miss her positive outlook on the world and her determination to make all things better."
Voss’ rookie spaceflight mission was STS-57 in 1993, the first flight of the Spacehab module.
She next flew on STS-63 in 1995, a mission to the Mir space station, and third flight of Spacehab.
Her last mission was STS-99 in 2000, a flight to the International Space Station as part of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission which mapped more than 47 million square miles of the Earth’s land surface. In total, Voss spent more than 49 days in space.
Voss most recently served as the payloads lead of the Astronaut Office’s Station Branch.