Janice Voss, shuttle astronaut, remembered for NASA contributions
Janice Voss began her NASA career while still a student at Purdue University. Janice Voss was one of six women to fly at least five times on the space shuttle.
Astronaut Janice Voss, a veteran of five spaceflights and a former science director for a NASA exoplanet-hunting spacecraft, has died.Skip to next paragraph
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"Just got the very sad news that U.S. astronaut Janice Voss passed away last night," the Association of Space Explorers, an international organization representing more than 350 individuals who have flown in space, wrote on Facebook. "Our thoughts go out to her family and friends."
NASA confirmed Voss' death in a statement issued on Tuesday (Feb. 7), saying she had passed away overnight.
Chosen by NASA for the astronaut corps in January 1990, Voss served as mission specialist on five space shuttle missions, including the only repeat flight in the shuttle program's 30-year history. She flew with the first commercial laboratory, rendezvoused with Russia's Mir space station and helped create the most complete digital topographic map of the Earth.
Five-time shuttle flier
Voss launched on her first and final missions aboard the shuttle Endeavour. As a member of the STS-57 crew in June 1993, she helped conduct biomedical and material science experiments in the first commercially-developed Spacehab module, a pressurized laboratory mounted in the orbiter's payload bay that more than doubled the work area for astronaut-tended activities.
In February 2000 Voss again launched on Endeavour, this time for NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. After deploying a nearly 200-foot (60-meter) mast, Voss and her crewmates worked around the clock in two shifts to map more than 47 million square-miles (122 million square-kilometers) of the Earth's land surface. [Shuttle's Best Science Missions]
Voss' second flight to space marked the first time a space shuttle came within the vicinity of Russia's space station Mir. Flying on the shuttle Discovery, Voss and her STS-63 crewmates — including Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot a U.S. spacecraft — rendezvoused with the Russian outpost to verify flight techniques, communications, and navigation and sensor aids. The February 1995 "Near-Mir" mission set the stage for the first shuttle-Mir docking later that year.