| NASA astronaut Piers Sellers dies at 61 |
24 Dec 2016
|Astronaut Piers Sellers died of pancreatic cancer in Houston today; he was 61 years old.
Sellers was born in Crowborough, East Sussex, Britain.
He began working for the United States space agency as a scientist in 1982 and in 1996, he joined its astronaut corps.
According to NASA, Dr Sellers was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2015.
| About Piers Sellers |
|Born on 11th April, 1955, Piers John Sellers was a British-American meteorologist, NASA astronaut and Director of the Earth Science Division at NASA/GSFC.
He held a bachelor's degree in ecological science and a doctorate in biometeorology.
His work as the Director of the Earth Science Division involved climate system computer modeling and field work utilizing aircraft satellites and ground support input.
| How Sellers joined the astronaut corps |
|Piers Sellers once said, "When I was a kid, I watched the Apollo launches from across the ocean, and I thought NASA was the holy mountain. I came over here to see if I could climb that mountain."
He was selected by NASA to become an astronaut candidate in April 1996; he reported to the NASA Johnson Space Center.
| Piers Seller's citizenship |
|The Astronaut corps is open only to US citizens but Dr. Sellers wanted to keep his name before the astronaut board. In 1991, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States and in 1996 became a part of NASA's largest astronaut training group.|
| Piers Sellers in Space |
|Sellers made 3 flights to the International Space Station from 2002 to 2010.
He logged 35 days in space during the shuttle missions.
In an op-ed that he wrote in the New York Times, Sellers wrote, "As an astronaut, I spacewalked 220 miles (354 km) above the Earth."
"From this God's eye-view, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the Earth is," he wrote.
| Sellers as an eloquent spokesman |
|In the late years of his life, Sellers gained fame for his eloquent commentary about the earth's fragility.
In his op-ed, he wrote, "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 night-time thunderstorms flash and flare for hundreds of miles along the equator."
| Reactions to Seller's death |
|NASA administrator Charles Bolden described Sellers as a "tremendous public servant dedicated to NASA, the nation and the world."
"Spacewalker and scientist, free thinker and our planet's friend, to say he will be missed would be a gross understatement."
Headmaster of Seller's former school, Dr. Weeds said, "He has made an enormous contribution to his field of science. We are devastated by the news."
| Sellers on his work |
|On his work, Sellers said, "Work is fascinating- I love the office, whether it is in a space suit or in a real office. I've always loved work."|