Janice Voss: American astronaut


The Nasa astronaut Janice Voss, who first worked for the US space agency as a teenager and flew five shuttle missions in seven years, died of breast cancer on 6 February at the age of 55. Voss flew four missions in the 1990s before a flight to the International Space Station in 2000. Nasa said that she was one of six women to fly in space at least five times.

Born in South Bend, Indiana, on 8 October 1956, Voss started with Nasa in 1973 while at Purdue University. She later worked as an instructor before being selected as an astronaut in 1990. From 2004 to 2007 she was Science Director for Nasa's Kepler Space Observatory, an Earth-orbiting satellite designed to find Earth-like planets in nearby solar systems. Her final trip was part of a radar topography mission that mapped more than 47m square miles of the Earth's surface.