Chair Force Engineer

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Among the Stars

I was deeply saddened last night when I heard that astronaut Ronald Parise had passed away from this life into the next. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Parise on multiple occasions. In some ways, he was a frequent visitor during the course of my higher education. I didn't come to appreciate all that he had given to the future generation of star voyagers until I found out that he had cancer.

Ron Parise took the celebrity out of being an astronaut, and that was a good thing. He understood what being an astronaut meant to the general public, and he realized that the stature of his position required a responsibility to serve the public good. In spite of the high-profile work he was involved in, he routinely made time to educate and inspire the students who will be continuing the journey that his generation of astronauts embarked on.

Godspeed, Ron Parise, and may your study of the stars continue in the next life.

(Obits can be found here and here.)