Janice Elaine Voss

Janice Elaine Voss (1956 - 2012)

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Dr Janice Elaine Voss
Born in St. Joseph, Indiana, USAmap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Arizona, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Jan 2017 | Last significant change: 5 Nov 2018
14:24: Gilbert Allan Davis edited the Biography for Janice Elaine Voss. [Thank Gilbert Allan for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Categories: American Notables | NASA Astronauts | NASA Distinguished Service Medal | NASA Exceptional Service Medal | NASA Space Flight Medal | Dupont Cemetery, Dupont, Indiana.

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Father: James Voss
Mother: Louise Hinds[1]

Janice Elaine Voss (October 8, 1956 – February 6, 2012) was an American engineer and a NASA astronaut.

1956 Born in St. Joseph, Indiana, USA.
1973 Co-op at Johnson Space Center.
1975 Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science, Purdue University.
1977 Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, MIT.
1987 Ph.D. in Aeronautics/Astronautics, MIT
1990 Selected by NASA in Astronauts Group 13. [2]
1993 Flew on Endeavour STS-57 as MS4 with Ronald Grabe, Brian Duffy, G. David Low, Nancy J. Currie Sherlock and Peter Wisoff. Awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, her first of 5. [3]
Space Flight
1995 Flew on Discovery STS-63 as MS3 with James Wetherbee, Eileen Collins, Bernard A. Harris Jr, Michael Foale and Vladimir Titov. Awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, her second of 5. [3]
Space Flight
1996 Awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. [3]
1997 Flew on Columbia STS-83 as MS1 with James Halsell, Susan Still Kilrain, Michael Gernhardt, Donald A. Thomas, Roger K. Crouch and Gregory T. Linteris. Awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, her third of 5. [3]
Space Flight
* Flew on Columbia STS-94 as MS1 with James Halsell, Susan Still Kilrain, Michael Gernhardt, Donald A. Thomas, Roger K. Crouch and Gregory T. Linteris.
1998 Awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, her first of 2, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the NASA Space Flight Medal, her fourth of 5. [3]
Space Flight
1999 Awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, her fifth of 5. [3]
Space Flight
2000 Flew on Endeavour STS-99 as MS3 with Kevin Kregel, Dominic Gorie, Gerhard Thiele, Janet L. Kavandi and Mamoru Mohri.
2001 Awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, her second of 2. [3]
2012 Died from cancer in Arizona, USA.


Janice Voss, Shuttle Astronaut and Scientist, Dies at 55


Janice Voss, a space shuttle astronaut and scientist who explored the behavior of fire in weightlessness, how plants adapt to extraterrestrial flight and an array of other phenomena while logging nearly 19 million miles circling Earth, died on Monday at a hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz. She was 55 and lived in Houston.

The cause was cancer, her mother, Louise Voss, said.

Dr. Voss was one of only six women to have gone into space five times. In her first flight, aboard the Endeavour in June 1993, she helped conduct experiments during what was also the maiden voyage of the Spacehab module, a 9,600-pound pressurized laboratory mounted in the orbiter’s payload bay. Spacehab was the first commercial laboratory launched into space, its primary purpose to offer industrial and academic researchers access to space.

Dr. Voss next flew on the Discovery in February 1995, a historic NASA mission in which a shuttle rendezvoused with a Russian space station, Mir, for the first time. During the mission Dr. Voss maneuvered the shuttle’s robot arm to grasp an astronomy satellite being deployed.

Janice Voss before duty as payload commander for a mission of the Shuttle Columbia. Credit NASA

Dr. Voss’s next two flights were the only time an entire crew was launched twice to achieve the same mission. On July 1, 1997, the Columbia lifted off from Cape Canaveral four months after it had been called back from space because fuel cells on board had malfunctioned.

On that second flight, with Dr. Voss in charge of experiments as payload commander, the crew set more than 140 small fires in insulated chambers to test the behavior of fire in weightlessness. The tests were intended to gain a better understanding of how fire and heat work on Earth and also to address safety concerns after a 90-second fire flared aboard the Mir station five months earlier. She also coordinated experiments on how plants react in space, using a greenhouse containing about 50 spinach, clover, sage and periwinkle plants.

In her last mission, in February 2000 — once again aboard the Endeavour — Dr. Voss worked on the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which mapped Earth’s land surface at unprecedented resolution levels.

Logging a total of 49 days in space in her NASA career, twice as payload commander, she also did research on fluid physics and material science (growing crystals and developing metal alloys, for example), as well as medical tests to determine the effects of microgravity on the human body.

On the ground in recent years, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Dr. Voss oversaw astronauts’ training in conducting experiments in space. One trainee was Cady Coleman, who in May returned from six months on the International Space Station.

“We’re doing experiments 12 hours a day, and it’s like Christmas Eve for parents trying to put together toys that they thought would be no problem,” Ms. Coleman said on Wednesday. “Janice’s job was to make sure that the astronaut — whether he was a pilot or an engineer or a former policeman — could follow those directions. She was great at it, so clear, precise.”

Janice Elaine Voss was born in South Bend, Ind., on Oct. 8, 1956, to James and Louise Hinds Voss. Besides her parents, Dr. Voss is survived by three sisters, Linda Voss, Karen Voss and Victoria Fransham.

She was just 16 and a freshman at Purdue University when she first worked for NASA, as an intern at the Johnson Space Center. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in engineering science in 1975, she returned to the center to train crews in navigation and entry guidance. She went on to earn a master’s in electrical engineering, in 1977, and a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics, in 1987, both at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It all started, her mother said, when Janice was 6 and picked up a book at the local library, “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle — a fantasy in which one of the main characters is a scientist who happens to be a woman.[4]


  1. "United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV58-XZZF : 12 September 2016), Janice Elaine Voss, Pennsylvania, United States, 12 Feb 2012; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.
  2. Wikipedia List of Astronauts, by Year
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Agency Awards Historical Recipient List
  4. Obituary

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