Astronauts: December 2016 Archives

Piers Sellers

Keith's note: This note was sent out earlier today by Colleen Hartman, Director, Sciences and Exploration Directorate NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: "All, I am so very sad and bereft to tell you that Piers passed away this morning. He was not in pain and his family was with him. A light has left our world. We will miss him so very much. He asked that Tucker and I arrange a celebration of his life here in Washington DC. in the Spring time. Piers knew your work was the most important in the world. Please continue fighting the good fight and remembering the great times we had with the most amazing man in this world. We will never forget him. With deep sadness, Colleen"

NASA Administrator Remembers NASA Scientist, Astronaut Piers Sellers

"In a New York Times opinion piece in 2016, he said, 'As an astronaut, I spacewalked 220 miles above the Earth. Floating alongside the International Space Station, I watched hurricanes cartwheel across oceans, the Amazon snake its way to the sea through a brilliant green carpet of forest, and gigantic nighttime thunderstorms flash and flare for hundreds of miles along the Equator. From this God's-eye-view, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the Earth is. I'm hopeful for its future.' "Today we lost a tremendous public servant who was dedicated to NASA, the nation and the world. He was a strident defender and eloquent spokesperson for our home planet, Earth. Spacewalker and scientist, free thinker and friend to our planet, and all who seek new knowledge, to say he will be missed would be a gross understatement."

Piers Sellers: A Legacy of Science, NASA

"Piers Sellers, who passed away on Dec. 23 more than a year after learning he had pancreatic cancer, leaves behind a dynamic legacy at NASA. As an astronaut he helped build the International Space Station. As a manager he helped lead hundreds of scientists. And as a public figure he was an inspiration to many for his optimistic take on humanity's ability to confront Earth's changing climate. But his most lasting contributions will be in the field where he began his career: science."

My John Glenn Story

Keith's note: Although I met him more than once in my 30 years in Washington, my association with John Glenn was one of a degree of separation - I knew many people who knew him well.

In 2009, I spent a month on a mission to a strange, beautiful, dangerous place with someone (astronaut Scott Parazynski) who spent several weeks on a mission to a strange, beautiful, dangerous place with John Glenn.

There is a scene in "The Right Stuff" (that never actually happened) where Gordon Cooper watches Glenn fly over Australia at night with some aborigines while sparks fly upward from their fire. Years later, on my way to Everest to meet up with Scott, I taught a Sherpa to spot satellites in the night sky - and that movie scene flashed through my mind.

That is my John Glenn story.

John Glenn

Statement by the President on the Passing of John Glenn

"The last of America's first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn."

Statement by NASA Administrator Bolden on the Passing of John Glenn

"The entire NASA Family will be forever grateful for his outstanding service, commitment and friendship. Personally, I shall miss him greatly. As a fellow Marine and aviator, he was a mentor, role model and, most importantly, a dear friend."

ASU university explorer Scott Parazynski remembers his colleague and friend, astronaut and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn

"I first got to spend time with him in January of 1998 after he became part of our crew. He walked in to the crew in a really unique and funny way. He said, 'If any of you guys call me Sen. Glenn, I'll ignore you. My name is just John or Payload Specialist No. 2.' That kind of set it. He just wanted to be one of the crew, no special treatment or favors. A very down-to-earth, humble guy."

The otherworldly spirit of John Glenn, Homer Hickam, Washington Post

"Ironically, John Glenn, the Mercury astronaut most Americans can still name, was the quiet one. He was strong and steady and never in any manner outlandish. He touched us in a different way. There was something about that balding, red-headed Marine with his lopsided smile that just made people love him. It seemed to those of us following the space race back then that everything Glenn did, his Midwestern, "aw shucks" manner of speech, his obvious love for and dedication to his wife, Annie, even his daily jogs along the Cape Canaveral beach, was pure and wholesomely American."

Keith's note: I got this as a text message via satellite phone from astrobiologist Dale Andersen on the shores of Lake Untersee in Antarctica this afternoon: "John Glenn was for me and for so many others of my generation a hero, a legend and The Right Stuff - an icon of space exploration. Interestingly, we just (minutes ago) finished watching Apollo 13 this evening - a wonderful story and a great film (and even better once one has read the flight log end to end). I hope the sacrifices made by those early space pioneers will not be squandered and that they will be honored by our country by re-energizing our space program - one dedicated to exploration, innovation and placing humans back on the surface of the moon and on Mars in the very, very near future. Its time to invest in science, engineering and imagination once again and to move well beyond LEO! From the mountains of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Dale"

John Glenn, Hero Astronaut and Former Senator, Hospitalized, NBC

"Glenn was admitted to the hospital more than a week ago, a spokesman for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs said in a statement. The spokesman said he did not know Glenn's "condition or illness or prognosis" and cautioned that Glenn did not necessarily have cancer."

Dear Colleague Letter: Cosponsor the Bipartisan Apollo 1 Memorial Act

"Although all three astronauts were posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, it is surprising that we do not have a memorial at Arlington Cemetery to honor the lives of the crew of Apollo 1 as was done for the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews. H.R. 6147 , The Apollo I Memorial Act, would redress that unfortunate omission. As Arlington National Cemetery is where we recognize heroes who have passed in the service of the Nation, it is fitting on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo I accident that we acknowledge these astronauts by building a memorial in their honor. This bill would direct the Secretary of the Army, in consultation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to construct at an appropriate place in Arlington National Cemetery, a memorial marker honoring these American heroes."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronauts category from December 2016.

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