National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day March 16 – G. David Low

0 Comments 16 March 2012


We’ve got a great American here. In fact, as I was perusing the exploits of his career I began to feel increasing bad about myself. Particularly because not having a extra big bowl of ice cream one night makes me feel great about my self determination.

During his 12 years as an astronaut, Mr. Low logged more than 714 hours in space while circling the Earth more than 540 times.

He received a bachelor’s degree in physics and engineering from Washington and Lee University in 1978, a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 1980 and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in 1983. Scrounging up back logs of the Cornell Daily Sun reveals the only blemish on his record was a food fight his started with B.A. Slater over an alleged “stolen Rueben sandwich that must have grown legs and walked away”.

He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1984 and at age 28 was the youngest in his class. During his first flight he helped retrieve a science satellite called the Long Duration Exposure Facility. The 10 1/2 -ton satellite, the size of a school bus, was in danger of plunging to a fiery destruction, taking with it six years of valuable scientific information from nearly 57 experiments. Crew members filmed their activities for a 1994 IMAX feature, “Destiny in Space.” (which you can see part of above). Despite his prolific and prodigious career he remained humble when asked in a 1990 interview about what he was feeling before his first flight he replied:

“I said I guess I’ll be very, very happy if we can get the wheels stopped and I haven’t screwed anything up. That would be a tremendous relief, to go through 10 days and know that I did it right.”

Amen brother. On good days I’m just happy to step out of the shower and not slip and pull my groin.

Its obit time!

G. David Low, 52: Cerebral Astronaut Flew on 3 Shuttles

By Joe Holley

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 20, 2008

G. David Low, 52, a NASA astronaut who served on three space shuttle missions before becoming a space industry executive, died March 15 of colon cancer at Reston Hospital Center. During his 12 years as an astronaut, he logged more than 714 hours in space while circling the Earth more than 540 times. Continue 

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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