By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – Former NASA astronaut and Denver native Gerald “Jerry” Carr died Wednesday at age 88. Carr was a commander of the Skylab 4 mission, the third and final manned flight to America’s first space station in 1973.

Gerald “Jerry” Carr (credit: Carr family)

Carr’s family released the following statement to CBS4:

“Throughout his life and career, Jerry Carr was the epitome of an officer and a gentleman. He loved his family, he loved his country and he loved to fly. We are all enormously proud of his legacy as a true space pioneer and of the lasting impact of his historic mission aboard America’s first space station. We will remember him most as a devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather and great grandfather. We will miss him greatly.”

According to NASA, the data collected from Skylab helped scientists understand the impact of long spaceflights on the human body. The mission also led to the development of future space stations, including the International Space Station.

Gerald “Jerry” Carr (credit: Carr family)

“NASA and the nation have lost a pioneer of long duration spaceflight,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We send our condolences to the family and loved ones of astronaut Gerald ‘Jerry’ Carr, whose work provided a deeper understanding of life on Earth and in space.”

Carr retired from the NASA astronaut corps in 1977 and founded an aerospace consulting company in 1984. NASA reports Carr helped educate engineers about weightlessness in space as they developed crew systems for the International Space Station.

Carr served in the Marine Corps before he was selected for NASA’s astronaut program in 1966. He was the recipient of several awards including the Robert J. Collier Trophy (1973), the NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1974), and the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy (1975).

Audra Streetman

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