CU Alumnus Logs More than 200 Days in Space as NASA Astronaut

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Jim Voss

Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Jim Voss has had a unique and varied career, ranging from government service to industry to academia, since earning his master's degree in aerospace engineering at CU-Boulder in 1974.

After his graduation, Voss served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer in Germany. He taught in the Department of Mechanics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, attended the Naval Test Pilot School and Armed Forces Staff College, and served as a flight test engineer conducting flight test programs for the Army. He then went to NASA's Johnson Space Center as an engineer supporting space shuttle launches.

In 1987, he became a NASA astronaut, and subsequently flew on five space shuttle flights, including a long-duration mission to the International Space Station. Voss, who was one of NASA's most experienced astronauts, logged a total of 202 days in space and conducted four spacewalks.

After his retirement from NASA in 2003, he held positions as professor and associate dean of engineering at Auburn University (where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1972); vice president for space exploration systems at Transformational Space Corp.; vice president of engineering for SpaceDev in Louisville, and director of advanced programs at Sierra Nevada Corp., which acquired SpaceDev in 2008.

Now a scholar in residence in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and the Roubos Endowed Chair in Engineering, he draws regularly on this wide ranging experience. Among his teaching assignments are "Introduction to Aerospace Engineering" and "Introduction to Human Space Flight," a course he developed and first taught during the 2004 and 2005 summer sessions.

"I hope to help inspire the next generation of space explorers," said Voss, whose desire to teach was born some 30 years ago at West Point. Voss is also helping to develop the department's graduate program in bioastronautics with associate professor David Klaus,  research professor Louis Stodieck, and former astronaut Joe Tanner, who joined the CU faculty one year before Voss.

Voss has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal, and the William P. Clements Jr. Award for Excellence in Education as the outstanding professor at the U.S. Military Academy.

"It is a privilege to have Jim on our faculty," said Dean Robert Davis.

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