CU-Boulder alum and legendary astronaut John “Mike” Lounge recently died of complications from liver cancer at the age of 64, but not before completing three missions into space.
CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano released a statement on Mar. 3 in regards to Lounge’s passing on Mar. 1.
“On behalf of the entire University of Colorado Boulder community, I want to express my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of astronaut John ‘Mike’ Lounge,” DiStefano said in the news release.
Lounge graduated from CU in 1970 with a master’s degree and went on to be one of 17 honored Boulder alumni who went on to join the NASA astronaut corps, according to the release.
Samantha Sabins, a 19-year-old freshman philosophy major, said she was excited, but not surprised, that such an important figure graduated from CU’s science department.
“That’s really impressive but I am not surprised,” Sabins said. “CU has a really good science department.”
A native of Burlington, CO., Lounge went on to become an officer in the Navy, a Vietnam veteran, engineer, and completed three flights into space.
Jill Gilmer, an 18-year-old English major and freshman said she is inspired by Lounge’s many accomplishments.
“I’m in an astronomy class right now,” Gilmer said. “But I definitely don’t take it as seriously as I should if people are majoring in these things and going on to do really great stuff after they graduate.”
DiStefano said in the release he thinks younger generations of students can and will look to Lounge’s achievements as encouragement for making the most of their college experience at CU-Boulder.
“His courage, character and spirit of adventure brought honor to CU-Boulder, and his legacy will continue to inspire new generations of CU students,” DiStefano said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rachel Hersch at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org