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.
Nagel was a test pilot for the Air Force before becoming an astronaut in 1979.
NASA said he was a mission specialist during a June 1985 Discovery flight and the pilot aboard the Challenger in October 1985. He was commander on his last two missions — an Atlantis flight in April 1991 and a 10-day trip on Columbia in April 1993.
Nagel later worked as deputy director and deputy chief in two separate offices at Houston'sJohnson Space Center.
Nagel retired from NASA in 2011.