Piers Sellers, who passed away on Dec. 23 more than a year after learning he had pancreatic cancer, leaves behind a dynamic legacy at NASA. As an astronaut he helped build the International Space Station. As a manager he helped lead hundreds of scientists. And as a public figure he was an inspiration to many for his optimistic take on humanity's ability to confront Earth's changing climate. But his most lasting contributions will be in the field where he began his career: science.
He was born and educated in the United Kingdom and moved to the U.S. in 1982 to carry out climate research at NASA/GSFC. From 1982 to 1996, he worked on global climate problems, particularly those involving interactions between the biosphere and the atmosphere, and was involved in constructing computer models of the global climate system, satellite data interpretation and conducting large-scale field experiments in the USA, Canada, Africa, and Brazil.
He served as project scientist for the first large Earth Observing System platform, Terra, launched in 1998. Piers joined the NASA astronaut corps in 1996 and flew to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002, 2006, and 2010, carrying out six spacewalks and working on ISS assembly tasks. After 14 years as an astronaut, Sellers returned to Goddard, this time as a leader within the Sciences and Exploration Directorate and Earth Sciences Division
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Link to story about Dr. Seller's legacy on NASA.gov.