Tributes planned for alumna Janice Voss

December 17, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Several events are planned to honor astronaut and Purdue alumna Janice E. Voss, who died Feb. 6 in Arizona of complications from cancer.

      * On Feb. 24, her family will greet friends and colleagues and celebrate her life from 3-4 p.m. in the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering's Kurz Atrium. The reception is open to the public, but RSVPs are appreciated and can be e-mailed to

      * On Feb. 26, a memorial service will be held beginning at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St., in Voss' hometown of Rockford, Ill.

      * On March 2, NASA plans a tree dedication ceremony in the Astronaut Grove at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Following the ceremony, the Voss family will host a reception at Space Center Houston at 4:30 p.m.

The Voss family has established an engineering scholarship fund in Janice's name. Memorial gifts may be sent in care of Marcus Knotts, Dauch Alumni Center, 403 W. Wood St., West Lafayette IN 47907.

"Janice was enthusiastic about encouraging all students, but especially women, to consider careers in engineering and science," said Beth Holloway, director of Purdue's Women in Engineering Program. "This scholarship will continue that legacy."

One of Purdue's 23 astronauts, Voss had logged five spaceflights, spending a total of 49 days in space and traveling 18.8 million miles in 779 Earth orbits. From 2004 to 2007, she served as the science director for the Kepler spacecraft at NASA's Ames Research Center. Voss most recently served as the payloads lead of the Astronaut Office's Station Branch.

She earned her bachelor's degree in engineering sciences in 1975 from Purdue and her doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987. Her memorabilia earlier was donated to Purdue Library's Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives.

Writer: Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084,

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Purdue's 'space odyssey' loses astronaut Janice Voss

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