Janice Voss, Female Astronaut, Dies of Cancer at 55

Janice Voss passed away earlier this week in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she was being treated for breast cancer. Voss, who was one of only six female astronauts to make five ventures into space, was 55-years-old.

Discovery reports that Voss flew on five space shuttle missions between 1993 and 2000. She spent 49 days in orbit and served as payload commander twice.

Chief astronaut Peggy Whitson said:

“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… Even more than Janice’s professional contributions, we will miss her positive outlook on the world and her determination to make all things better.”

Here’s a video of Janice Voss talking from space.

After completing her engineering studies at Purdue and completing her doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Voss was selected as an astronaut in 1990.

Voss’ last mission to space came in 2000 when she served as the payload manager aboard the shuttle Endeavour.