Undated-AP -- He made it look easy.
That's how one old friend is remembering Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson, who died aboard the space shuttle this morning.
Rich Cantwell was working with Anderson at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base in upstate New York when Anderson was chosen to be one of only a handful of black astronauts. He says Anderson was ideal for the job.
Plattsburgh Mayor Daniel Stewart says, "We have lost a role model." The city hopes to hold a memorial service within the next few days.
Anderson's wife, Sandra Hawkins, and the couple's two daughters, ages nine and eleven, now live in the Houston area, where the space program is based.
A neighbor of Anderson's parents in Spokane, Washington, says the family's being comforted by friends.