Tributes after death of British-born astronaut
NASA has paid tribute to an Edinburgh-educated former astronaut who went into space three times on the shuttle programme.
British-born Dr Piers Sellers, who has died of cancer, studied ecological science at Edinburgh University and later attended Leeds University.
He carried out climate change projects during his trips on the Space Shuttles over eight years to 2010.
The Nasa employee had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and was just 61.
Mr Sellers, originally from Crowborough, Sussex, gained US citizenship to fulfil a childhood dream of flying into space.
In January Dr Sellers wrote an emotional article for the New York Times about his cancer diagnosis, while he also featured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary this year.
Nasa’s Charles Bolden said Dr Sellers was a “tremendous public servant who was dedicated to Nasa, the nation and the world,” adding: He was an eloquent spokesperson for our home planet, Earth.
“Space walker and scientist, free thinker and friend to our planet, and all who seek new knowledge, to say he will be missed would be a gross understatement.”
“His cancer diagnosis became a catalyst for him to work even harder on efforts to save the planet from global warming.”
Leeds University vice-chancellor Sir Alan Langlands said he cared deeply about our fragile planet and its people.
Dr Sellers won Nasa’s Distinguished Service Medal.