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Sat, Mar 02, 2024

NASA Commemorates The Life of Richard Truly

Former Astronaut, Admiral, and Administrator’s Life in Review

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson published a short eulogy commemorating the passage of his forebear, former NASA Administrator and astronaut Richard Truly.

Truly passed away on February 27th in his home in Genesee, Colorado, at the age of 86. Truly's career saw him take the organizational wheel from '89 to '92, having been brought up in the Space Shuttle program. Truly was a pilot for one of the crews that flew the 747/Shuttle Enterprise approach and landing test flights during 1977. Later, he was a backup pilot for STS-1, eventually working his way to space in 1981 as pilot of STS-2, the Columbia mission. He returned for STS-8 as commander of the Challenger, making the first night launch & landing throughout the shuttle program.

“In his decades of service – to the Navy, to NASA, to his country – Richard lifted ever higher humanity’s quest to know the unknown and to achieve the impossible dream. Across his 30 years in the Navy, Richard served as a test pilot and naval aviator, making more than 300 aircraft carrier landings. Richard rose from the role of ensign to vice admiral"

“As associate administrator, after the Challenger crisis, Richard brought NASA to its first liftoff and return to flight. He led the Space Shuttle Program to once again take to the skies and reach for the stars. He understood no matter what difficulties we endure, there is only one direction for humanity and NASA: forward."

“As NASA administrator, it also was under Richard’s leadership and judgment that Voyager 1 turned Earthward and took a final picture of our beautiful planet as it floated 3.7 billion miles away. It was the picture that became known as the “Pale Blue Dot.” This is to say that as administrator, Richard’s vision was bold and broad. Humanity is all the better for that vision.”

“Richard had the makings of someone who understood that we choose to do great things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. He was a personal friend and a mentor to so many of us. I share my deep condolences with Richard’s wife, Cody, and their three children. I invite all those who care for humanity’s quest to reach ever higher to join me in saying farewell to a great public servant.”



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