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Astronaut Janice Voss (1956- ), who considers Rockford her hometown, is the veteran of five NASA space flights, logging more than 49 days in space and traveling 18.8 million miles in 779 Earth orbits.
Vosss first trip to space was June 21-July 1, 1993, as one of six crew members aboard Endeavor. Endeavor retrieved EURECA, a European science satellite, and launched the worlds first commercial laboratory moduleSpacehab.
Voss returned to space Feb. 3-11, 1995, aboard Discovery, which rendezvoused with Russian Space Station Mir; deployed and retrieved Spartan 204; and conducted the third flight of Spacehab. Discovery was also the first shuttle piloted by a womanEileen Collins of Elmira, N.Y.
April 4-8, 1997, Voss made her third trip to space, this time as payload commander aboard Columbia. Due to a problem with a fuel cell power generation unit, Columbias trip was cut short. However, the crew returned to space July 1-17, 1997, to complete its work on materials and combustion science research in microgravity.
Vosss last trip to space was Feb. 11-22, 2000, aboard Endeavor. The 11-day mission used radar signals reflected off Earth to measure Earths topography.
Voss recently transferred to NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., where she is science director for the Kepler spacecraft. Kepler is set to launch in October 2007, and will look for Earth-size planets around distant stars.
From the March 15-21, 2006, issue