Astronaut and meterolgist Piers Sellers passed away yesterday, aged 61, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Crowboough, East Sussex, England, Piers John Sellers, OBE was a British-American meteorologist, NASA astronaut and Director of the Earth Science Division at NASA/GSFC. He was a veteran of three space shuttle missions.

“As an astronaut, I spacewalked 220 miles [354km] above the Earth. Floating alongside the International Space Station, I watched hurricanes cartwheel across oceans, the Amazon snake its way to the sea through a brilliant green carpet of forest, and gigantic night-time thunderstorms flash and flare for hundreds of miles along the equator.

“From this God’s-eye view, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the Earth is. I’m hopeful for its future.”