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Astronaut Featured in UTSD Display Dies at 67

Friday, August 29, 2014 - 8:55am

Astronaut Stephen Nagel with a coin and U.S. flag patch he took along on a 1985 flight of Space Shuttle Discovery.

NASA astronaut Steven R. Nagel was a mission specialist on his first space shuttle flight, pilot on his second and the commander on his last two missions. A coin and flag patch from Discovery's June 1985 flight are on display at the School of Dentistry. His photo at left is courtesy of NASA.

Steven R. Nagel, the NASA astronaut featured in a display at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, has died at age 67 after a long illness. Nagel was a veteran astronaut who flew four space shuttle missions, including a June 17-24, 1985 mission on Space Shuttle Discovery.  On that flight, he carried a commemorative coin created by Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs Phil Pierpont, DDS, a Class of 1977 alumnus of the school.

Today, that coin and a U.S. flag patch that also went into space are on display near the bookstore on the second floor of the School of Dentistry. A member of Nagel’s family was a dental student at UTSD at the time of the shuttle mission. “That’s where the school connection came from,” Pierpont explained.

According to the Houston Chronicle, after his retirement from NASA in 2011, Nagel joined the faculty of

Philip Pierpont, DDS, associate dean for student and alumni affairs

Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs Phil Pierpont, DDS, created a commemorative coin  Astronaut Stephen Nagel carried during a space shuttle mission in June 1985.

the University of Missouri's College of Engineering, where he taught in the Department of Mechanical and Space Engineering. At the time of his death, he was living in Columbia, Mo.  He is survived by a wife and two daughters.