G. David Low, 52: Cerebral Astronaut Flew on 3 Shuttles

NASA Astronaut G. David Low, 52, who flew on three space shuttle missions, died on March 15 of colon cancer in Reston, Virginia. He circled the earth more than 540 times during his 714 hours in space.

Low flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1990, Atlantis in 1991, and Endeavour in 1993. During his last flight, Low and Peter J.K. “Jeff” Wisoff conducted a nearly six-hour spacewalk to retrieve the free-flying European Retrievable Carrier.

Low continued to work for NASA for another three years following that flight. He served on the Russian Integration Team that helped to bring that nation into the space station program. He also worked with NASA Legislative Affairs.

Low joined Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. in 1996. He served as vice president of safety and mission assurance for Orbital’s Launch Systems Group. Two years ago, he became senior vice president and program manager for the company’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Service program.

Low was a second-generation NASA employee. His late father, George M. Low, had been instrumental in selling the Apollo program to the Kennedy Administration. The elder Low served as deputy director of the Johnson Spaceflight Center, manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office, and later as NASA deputy administrator.

G. David Low’s survivors include his wife of 15 years, JoAnn Andochick Low of Sterling, Virginia; three children, Maggie Low, Christopher Low and Abigail Low, all of Sterling, Virginia; his mother, Mary R. Low of Bethesda, Maryland; two brothers, Mark Low of Woodinville, Wash., and John Low of Rockville, Maryland; and two sisters, Diane Low Murphy of Bethesda, Maryland, and Nancy Low Sullivan of Rye, N.Y.