Carl Sagan died in December after a two-year battle with bone marrow disease.

On July 3rd, 1997, the son of a high-ranking N.A.S.A. Shuttle Chief named Brewster Shaw, from Houston, was killed. His bullet-riddled body was found stuffed in the trunk of his car at the bottom of a lake. Local police reported it was done by car-jackers.

On June 25th, 1997, the day of the supposed burn for the spacecraft and mid-course correction, and the day of the MIR "accident", a Senior Program Director at N.A.S.A. Headquarters, Dr. Gergen Ray, was found dead near his home in Potomac, Maryland, under unusual circumstances.

A few days prior to the above, a computer technician working on PATHFINDER in Palo Alto, California, was found dead. His body was wedged between a tree and a fence in a very well-traveled, upper-class residential-shopping area near Stanford University. Officials in his case claim that he was beaten to death by gang members.

The Program Manager for Mars Surveyor at N.A.S.A. Headquarters in Washingtom, Mary K. Olsen, went to J.P.L. in Pasadena a few months ago, and would up in a hospital with a very strange and anomalous embolism, and died. She was only 35 years old!

Astronomer Eugene Shoemaker, who co-discovered the comet that slammed into Jupiter in 1994, was killed in a car accident Friday in Australia during an annual trip to search for asteroid craters. He was 69.

Shoemaker died in a two-car accident on a dirt road about 310 miles north of Alice Springs, in central Australia, police there said.