NASA is mourning former astronaut Alan Poindexter, who died in a jet ski accident in Florida over the weekend. Poindexter, 50, was on a jet ski with his 22-year-old son when his older son, 26, crashed into them on another jet ski, sending both men into the water, reports the Pensacola News Journal. Poindexter, who was pulled from the water by a boater, was conscious and talking in the minutes after the crash, but died from his injuries after he was rushed to a local hospital.
Poindexter, who flew combat missions in Operation Desert Storm, logged more than 660 hours in space during two shuttle missions, one aboard Atlantis as pilot and one on Discovery as commander, CNN reports. He retired from NASA in 2010 to become dean of students and executive director of programs at the Naval Postgraduate School in California. "America lost a great hero yesterday," tweeted Discovery crewmate Clayton Anderson. "I lost my commander, my colleague, and my friend. RIP Captain Poindexter."