(Mirror Daily, United States) – NASA has just announced the death of one of the greatest astronauts it has ever had. Paul Weitz was the commander of the Challenger space shuttle, and led it on its maiden voyage through space. The retired astronaut was 85, and died at the beginning of this week.
Weitz spent over 790 hours flying through space, and was an astronaut for 28 years of his life. NASA revealed he led an avid struggle with cancer, but the space administration didn’t reveal if this was the actual cause of the man’s death.
The man was a Navy astronaut, and was selected by NASA in April 1966, together with 18 other astronauts. Then, in May 1973, he was the pilot of the spaceship Skylab 2, when he also established a world record by flying into space for 28 days straight. He got retired in 1976, returned to the Navy, but then regained its collaboration with NASA later.
Weitz came back from his retirement at 51 to fly back into space
Back then, it was remarkable for an astronaut to abandon retirement and return to NASA to fly into space. Therefore, he was given the command of the Challenger mission, which launched on April 4th, 1983. Weitz was 51 at the time, proving that age didn’t matter. The same space shuttle was relaunched in January 1986, but it had a cruel fate. Soon after launching, it exploded and seven members of the crew lost their lives.
Afterwards, Weitz was named deputy director of the Johnson Space Center, and remained there until his final retirement in 1994. NASA deeply regrets his loss, as he was a remarkable man who didn’t allow himself to be constrained by age or any other limitations. All scientists and astronauts will remember him for his amazing contributions to the astronomical world, and use him as a true role model.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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