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Ad Astra
Volume 15, Number 4 September/October/November 2003


Launch Pad

Thank you, Chris
By Kirby Ikin

I am sad to report that my column will again be focused on the loss of one of the members of our NSS family. Chris Pancratz, 52, Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee, died 2 August in Virginia after a battle with cancer. During his six years on the NSS Board of Directors, he worked tirelessly in many capacities. Chris’s loss was felt around the world and at the highest levels of the Society, as demonstrated by these comments received at NSS Headquarters:

“The loss of Chris Pancratz robs the NSS of a valuable resource—an individual who combined the qualities of understanding and enthusiastically supporting the exploration of space, plus personal energy and organizational drive.”
—Hugh Downs, Chairman of the NSS Board of Governors

“Chris was a true leader. He is to be admired for his never-failing energy and enthusiasm for the NSS mission.”
—Tim McEgan, President of the National Space Society of Australia

In addition to being named the National Space Society Activist of the Year in 2000, he also served as Acting Executive Director during a challenging time for our organization. He also served as Vice President of Public Affairs and Director of Strategic Planning, as well as being a major financial supporter of NSS and a frequent contributor to this magazine.
But it was not only NSS that received Chris’ support. He had a long history of community service with the United States Jaycees Foundation, where he served on the Board of Trustees, as well as the United Junior Chamber of Commerce. This kind of selfless dedication to volunteer causes is rare, and we will deeply miss Chris and his dedication to not only the mission of NSS, but his dedication to his community.
Chris was truly dedicated to the cause of opening up the space frontier, and so we dedicate this issue of Ad Astra to his memory and his family.
Thank you, Chris. Kirby Ikin