Former NASA astronaut and administrator Richard Truely has passed away at the age of 86

Astronaut Richard H. Official NASA portrait of Truly. Credit: NASA

Richard Truly, a distinguished ex NASA The executive and pioneering astronaut died on February 27, 2024 at the age of 86 at his home in Genesee, Colorado. Truly's remarkable career spanned decades, during which he left an indelible mark on the U.S. Navy and NASA, and by extension, on humanity's quest to explore space.

Beginning his career in the Navy as a test pilot and naval aviator, he achieved more than 300 carrier landings and truly exemplified courage and skill. His transition from the role of flag to vice admiral demonstrated his leadership and commitment to service.

His contributions to space exploration were truly profound. As an astronaut, he coordinated the approach and landing tests of the Space Shuttle Enterprise and led missions aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and Challenger, including the first piloted shuttle reentry into space and the first night launch and landing.

Astronaut Richard H.  Truly

Astronaut Richard H. Truly. Credit: NASA

After the Challenger disaster, he was really instrumental in getting NASA back into flight, serving as associate administrator and later as NASA administrator. Under his leadership, Earth's iconic „Light Blue Dot” image was captured, exemplifying his vision of humanity's place in the universe.

Richard Truly is survived by his wife, Cody, their three children, and his timeless legacy of exploration and leadership on Earth. He was a mentor, pioneer and visionary whose life's work significantly improved our understanding of space and our ability to explore it. His contributions will continue to inspire future generations to reach for the stars.

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The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson that former NASA administrator and astronaut Richard Truly died on February 27, 2024 at the age of 86 at his home in Genesee, Colorado.

„NASA is where it is today because of people of character, vision and service — like the great man we lost on February 27, former NASA administrator, co-administrator and astronaut Richard Truly.

In his decades of service — to the Navy, to NASA, to his country — Richard always elevated humanity's quest to know the unknown and achieve the impossible.

„During his 30 years in the Navy, Richard served as a test pilot and naval aviator, landing over 300 aircraft carriers. Richard rose from the role of ensign to the rank of vice admiral.

„As an astronaut, Richard was part of the crew for the approach and landing tests of the space shuttle Enterprise. He piloted the space shuttle Columbia during STS-2, the first piloted shuttle re-entry into space, and commanded the space shuttle Challenger during STS-8 — the first of its era. First night launch and landing.

„After the Challenger crisis, as co-administrator, Richard led NASA back to its first liftoff and flight. He led the spaceflight program once again into space and reaching for the stars. He understood that no matter what difficulties we faced, there was only one direction for humanity and NASA: forward.

„As a NASA administrator, under Richard's leadership and judgment, Voyager 1 returned to Earth and took the final image of our beautiful planet floating 3.7 billion miles away. That image became known as the 'Pale Blue Spot.' .

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„Weaved through these accolades, trials and triumphs was Richard's vision as a leader and a pioneer.

„Richard had the makings of someone who understood that we choose to do great things not because they are easy, but because they are difficult. He was a personal friend and mentor to many of us. I share my deepest condolences with Richard's wife, Cody, and their three children. Please join me in saying goodbye to a great public servant. I invite all who care about humanity's quest.

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