Alan Dex Poindexter, a former space shuttle commander, died Sunday after being injured in a water sports accident in Florida. He was 50.
According to multiple news reports citing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), Poindexter was jet skiing with his two sons near Little Sabine Bay off of Pensacola Beach, Fla.
The Maryland native was rushed to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, where he later died from his injuries.
The NASA family was sad to learn of the passing of our former friend, and colleague Alan Poindexter who was killed today during a jet ski accident in Florida, the space agency wrote on Facebook late Sunday evening. Our thought and hearts are with his family.
Poindexter, an American naval officer and NASA astronaut, served in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch, performing duties as the lead support astronaut at Kennedy Space Center before traveling twice into space.
In July 2006, Poindexter was assigned as pilot on the STS-122 mission that delivered the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station in February 2008. He was also the commander of STS-131, which launched in April 2010. The mission's primary payload was the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module.
He was a talented, courageous Navy veteran with gifts, fellow astronaut classmate Gregory H. Johnson wrote on Twitter. Dex was a lovable guy with a strong work ethic.
Poindexter logged 27 days and 21 hours in space over the course of his two missions.
Dex was a well-respected leader within our office, Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in 2010, when Poindexter announced his retirement from the space agency.