HOUSTON – Steven R. Nagel, a former astronaut who flew on four space shuttle flights, has died after a long illness. He was 67.
NASA said in a news release that Nagel died Thursday. Longtime friend Ed Reinholtz said Nagel died of cancer in Columbia, Missouri.
NASA says Nagel, a test pilot for the Air Force before becoming an astronaut in 1979, was a mission specialist during a June 1985 Discovery flight and the pilot aboard the Challenger in October that same year. He was commander on his last two missions, on an Atlantis flight in April 1991 and a 10-day trip on Columbia in April 1993.
Nagel later worked as a deputy director and a deputy chief in two separate Johnson Space Center offices.
Nagel retired from NASA in 2011.