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Shuttle astronaut Janice Voss dies of cancer at 55

Tuesday - 2/7/2012, 5:21pm  ET

HOUSTON (AP) - NASA astronaut Janice Voss, who first worked for the space agency as a teenager and flew five shuttle missions in seven years, has died. She was 55.

The agency said in a statement Tuesday that Voss died overnight after a battle with cancer.

A native of South Bend, Ind., Voss started with NASA while attending Purdue University in 1973. She later worked as an instructor before being selected as an astronaut in 1990.

Voss flew four missions in the 1990s before a flight to the International Space Station in 2000. Her final trip was part of a radar topography mission that mapped more than 47 million square miles of Earth's surface.

NASA says Voss was one of six women to fly in space at least five times.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)