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Former Astronaut Spent Final Days Calling Attention To Climate Change

NASA astronaut and climate scientist Piers Sellers died of cancer Friday. He was 61. When he got the diagnosis, Sellers announced he would spend his remaining time working even harder to bring attention to earth’s fragile climate conditions. In June, Sellers talked about that choice with Alex Kotlowitz as part of WBEZ’s Heat of the Moment series.

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Courtesy of NASA

NASA astronaut and climate scientist Piers Sellers died of cancer Friday. He was 61. When he got the diagnosis, Sellers announced he would spend his remaining time working even harder to bring attention to earth’s fragile climate conditions. In June, Sellers talked about that choice with Alex Kotlowitz as part of WBEZ’s Heat of the Moment series.

There’s a saying you’ve probably heard -- “No one on their deathbed ever says, ‘I wish I would have spent more time at the office.’ ”

It’s generally assumed that when we get toward the end of life, the last thing we will be thinking about is work.

But when former astronaut Piers Sellers was diagnosed with terminal cancer all he wanted to talk about was his work. The job he had left -- saving the earth from climate change -- was just too important.

Read the text version of this story and view more photos at heatofthemoment.org.

Heat of the Moment is funded by the Joyce Foundation, working to improve quality of life, promote community vitality and achieve a fair society. Visit the Joyce Foundation at joycefdn.org.

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