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Voss Janice lg

Spacecraft named for alumna Janice Voss flies to ISS

A spacecraft named for a Rice alumna and astronaut, the late Janice Voss, brought supplies and smiles to the crew at the International Space Station (ISS) recently.

The S.S. Janice Voss, a cargo ship launched from Virginia on July 16 by the private Orbital Sciences Corp., delivered more than a ton of food, clothing and experiments to the ISS.

"Janice Voss is now part of Expedition 40," said ISS Commander Steven Swanson. "Janice devoted her life to space and accomplished many wonderful things at NASA and Orbital Sciences, including five shuttle missions. And today, Janice's legacy in space continues. Welcome aboard the ISS, Janice."

Voss, who studied space physics at Rice in 1977 and 1978 and later earned a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, flew five space shuttle missions between 1993 and 2000. On her last flight, she and her crewmates mapped more than 47 million square miles of Earth's surface to produce the most complete digital topographic database of the planet at the time.

Voss was one of 14 astronauts who have either worked or studied at Rice. Before joining the astronaut corps, she worked in flight operations support for Orbital Sciences. She died in 2012 at 55 after a battle with breast cancer.