Janice Voss Dies at 55: Astronaut Loses to Cancer

NASA astronaut Janice Voss has died at age 55 Tuesday after being diagnosed with cancer.

The former Kelper science office director was also one of only six women who visited outer space five times.

Voss was remembered in a statement released by the Astronaut Office on Tuesday.


"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 office.

"By improving the way scientists are able to analyze their data, and establishing the experimental methods and hardware necessary to perform these unique experiments, Janice and her crew ensured that our space station would be the site of discoveries that we haven't even imagined."

Whitson added that Voss, who started working with NASA in 1973, will be missed in the aerospace industry.

"During the last few years, Janice continued to lead our office's efforts to provide the best possible procedures to crews operating experiments on the station today," said Whitson. "Even more than Janice's professional contributions, we will miss her positive outlooks on the world and her determination to make all things better."

The astronaut is also being mourned on Twitter, with users recounting her accomplishments and wishing friends and family of Voss the best.

"Saddened to hear about the death of astronaut Janice Voss," wrote Twitter user Ed. "She was in robotics training with me in Canada- great person, great teacher."

"Any young ladies out there need a role model?" wrote Brian is honor of the Purdue alumnus. "Astronaut Janice Voss (1956-2012) flew in space 5 times and rocked hard."

Clayton posted his gratitude to Voss on Twitter Tuesday, writing, "NASA lost a true here today; thank you Janice Voss for your service to our country and our Space Program.. Godspeed."