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The Rotary National Award for SpaceAchievement (RNASA) Foundation presented Apollo "Failure is Not An Option" Flight Director Eugene F. "Gene" Kranz with the prestigious 2007 National Space Trophy at their annual gala held April 20 at the Houston Hyatt Regency hotel.
The award has been presented annually for the past 21 years to an
individual who has excelled in furthering national goals in the field of
space. The winner is selected by the prestigious RNASA Board of Advisors.
Mr. Kranz's citation read: "For outstanding achievements in his pivotal
role in the development of flight control operations for all NASA manned
space flights. World renowned for his resolve during the Apollo 13
trans-lunar abort rescue, failure was never an option." -- Joseph P.
Kerwin, former Astronaut and President Wyle Labs (Retired).
Former NBC news correspondent and host of the Today Show, Jim Hartz
served as Master of Ceremonies, and Dr. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., former
Director of NASA Johnson Space Center and a previous winner of the National
Space Trophy, presented the trophy to Mr. Kranz. He said, "Gene Kranz has
been one of the leading contributors to the exploration of space since the
beginning of the space program in the U S. He has been prominent throughout
his career in developing the concepts of flight control and is particularly
known for his leadership and development of the flight control teams upon
which human space flight depended for its success. He is most famous for
the large roll he played in the rescue of Apollo 13. Kranz continues to be
a bulwark in the space flight world and has lent his expertise to many
groups throughout the country by providing advice on how to motivate
Astronauts James Reilly, II. and Joan Higginbotham presented the RNASA
Stellar Awards to 20 individuals and 6 teams. Each year the RNASA
Foundation solicits nominations from NASA, the military and industry
leaders in human and unmanned spaceflight programs for individual and team
achievements to be recognized with Stellar Awards. This year's 100
individual and 43 team nominations were evaluated based on which
accomplishments hold the greatest promise for furthering future activities
in space, and the winners in each of four categories were announced at the
banquet. The 2007 Stellar Evaluators were former National Space Trophy
winners Dr. Aaron Cohen, Dr. Chris Kraft, Jr., and Dr. Glynn Lunney.
Ms. Higginbotham, who worked 53 shuttle missions at Kennedy Space
Center before becoming an astronaut, said, "The Stellar awards are
important because they honor those who often work behind the scenes and
whose careers and accomplishments may not be as visible as others."
Dr. Reilly, who will fly again on the next shuttle mission, currently
scheduled for June 8, said, "We are all aware it takes the dedication and
effort of thousands to get us into space, and these nominees represent the
best of our best. Without the contributions of all the folks involved in
the space program, and particularly the Stellar Nominees, it would be
impossible to ensure a strong space program for our future."
Six Stellar Awards were presented in the Early Career category that is
for individuals up to age 33. The winners are:
Capt Brian M. Clifford of the USAF -- Exceptional contributions as the
Flight Commander for the first two Vandenberg AFB Delta IV Missions,
successfully placing National Reconnaissance Office and Defense
Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) payloads in orbit in direct support
of the Global War on Terror.
Mr. Robert Crouch of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne -- Dedication and
leadership in supporting safe flight of the Space Shuttle.
Mr. Joshua B. Hopkins of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. --
Development of safe trajectories enabling Atlas V to carry commercial
passengers, and authoring the International Reference Guide to Space Launch
Systems, which has become the industry standard reference on launch
Mr. Matthew P. Scudder of The Boeing Company -- Significant knowledge
and expertise resulting in recognition by the ISS program as the ISS expert
in numerous program areas, including plasma contactor units, remote power
control modules, electrical power system orbital replaceable unit firmware,
and NASA's Java mission evaluation workstation system data gathering and
display software. Mr. Mark Mulqueen accepted the award for Mr. Scudder.
Ms. Dana J. Weigel of NASA JSC -- A history of strong technical ability
and leadership resulting in her selection as a flight director in 2005,
where she immediately began leading Mission Control in critical activities.
Mr. David R. York of The Boeing Company -- Outstanding contributions in
resolving critical technical issues as a result of his expertise in the
area of large flexible body structural dynamics, and specifically for
developing a tool currently used to calculate dynamic transient loads to
help ensure the safety of the ISS crew.
Seven Stellar Awards were presented in the Middle-Career category that
is for ages 33-50. The winners are:
Mr. Anthony J. Ceccacci of NASA JSC -- Twenty-six years of key
leadership in manned space flight, spanning flight control in all phases of
shuttle flight, with unparalleled depth and breadth of systems expertise
and operations experience and an exemplary record leading Mission Control
as a shuttle flight director.
Mr. Robert R. Cuadros of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne -- Outstanding
support for the advancement of rocket propulsion systems for the nation's
Ms. Kimberly B. Doering of NASA JSC -- Outstanding contributions to the
safe and highly successful Space Shuttle operations to continue the
assembly of the ISS in 2005 and 2006.
Mr. Timothy G. Leonard of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne -- Outstanding
technical excellence in development and demonstration of engine throttle
technology in support of space exploration upper stage and lunar lander
Mrs. Wanda A. Sigur of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Michoud
Operations -- Outstanding leadership demonstrated during the
return-to-flight effort on the Space Shuttle's External Tank program.
Mr. Christopher E. Singer of NASA MSFC -- Unwavering pursuit of
innovative approaches to mitigate critical debris sources from propulsion
elements and enable the safe return to flight of the Space Shuttle.
Mr. Carson W. Sparks of United Space Alliance -- Service as a lead
engineer for the Mission Operations Directorate's Flight Design and
Dynamics division's Ascent/Entry Flight Dynamics unit, with significant
contributions to safety of flight.
Seven Stellar Awards were presented in the Late Career category for
individuals over 50. The winners are:
Mr. Eugene J. Beckett of United Space Alliance -- Outstanding
dedication and extraordinary contributions to the management of human
spaceflight from Apollo to Space Shuttle programs.
Mr. Terry Boardman of ATK Launch Systems -- Lifetime achievement for 30
years of exceptional vision, innovation and dedication in rocket motor
technology development and engineering leadership on the Space Shuttle
Mr. Dan C Brandenstein of Lockheed Martin -- Lifetime contributions to
the advancement of space exploration and human space flight, with an
outstanding career serving as a naval aviator, astronaut, pilot and
commander of four Space Shuttle missions, corporate executive and program
manager for the NASA Mission Support Operations Contract, and leading
visionary safety advocacy and educational outreach initiatives.
Mr. Glenn M. Ecord of NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) -- Setting up
fracture control methodology for human spaceflight hardware that has
allowed for the improved design of space vehicles and components and is
Mr. James W. Kennedy of NASA Kennedy Space Center -- Outstanding
leadership and technical direction of NASA's pioneering space endeavors and
the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE).
Mr. Tommie C. Lacefield of Lockheed Martin Space Systems --
Demonstrated excellence in furthering the future of space throughout a
career at the Navy, NASA, and most recently as Lockheed Martin Project
Orion Program Manager.
Mr. Robert T. Savely of NASA JSC -- Extended, exemplary career
advancing technology and furthering NASA's critical interests in software,
robotics, and navigation systems, affecting space missions from Apollo
through the return to the Moon.
Six Stellar Awards were presented in the Team category. The winners
Education and Outreach Program Team of the National Space Biomedical
Research Institute -- Performance as a nationally recognized, top-tier
program that is pioneering new models for exemplary teaching, training and
public outreach, in support of the Vision for Space Exploration. The award
was accepted by William Thomson on behalf of the team.
ISS Flight Software Team of The Boeing Company -- Outstanding
dedication and performance in reaching ISS assembly complete functionality,
including providing on-orbit software to six-sigma level quality and
gaining Software Engineering Institute certification to Capability Maturity
Model Integration Level 5. The award was accepted by Gary W. Cooper on
behalf of the team.
ISS Guidance, Navigation, and Control Team of The Boeing Company --
Outstanding performance in overcoming serious threats to the ISS guidance,
navigation and control system after the Columbia tragedy, most especially
developing solutions for the control moment gyroscope, supporting shuttle
return-to-flight, and resumption of ISS assembly. The award was accepted by
Gregory W. Vajdos on behalf of the team.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Development and Operations team of NASA Jet
Propulsion Laboratory -- Successful development, launch, and operations of
the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is conducting remote sensing and
world class science of the planet Mars. The award was accepted by James E.
Graf on behalf of the team.
Nanotube Research and Development Team of ERC Inc. -- Exceptional
dedication, hard work, and technical excellence in furthering the
understanding of nanomaterials and their application to fuel cells,
lightweight composites, and carbon dioxide removal systems. The award was
accepted by Sivaram S. Arepalli on behalf of the team.
Stardust Flight and Recovery Team of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory --
Exceptional achievement during its historic seven-year planetary space
flight to bring to Earth samples of primordial material from a cometary
nucleus, unchanged since the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years
ago, enabling study of the origin and evolution of our solar system and
life on Earth. The award was accepted by Thomas C. Duxbury on behalf of the
Group photos of the winners, banquet speakers and presenters, and Mr.
Kranz's profile that appeared in the souvenir program book will be posted
as soon as they are available at http://www.RNASA.org or can be obtained
via request to . Photos of individual Stellar winners are
available on request.
About RNASA Foundation
The Space Center Rotary Club of Houston, Texas has always enjoyed a close association with the space program. In 1985 the club established the nonprofit National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation to organize and coordinate an annual awards event to recognize outstanding achievements in space and create greater public awareness of the benefits of space exploration. The first event was held in 1987. The 2007 event will be held on Friday, April 20, 2007 at the Houston Hyatt Regency hotel. Jim Hartz, former NBC correspondent and host of the Today show will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Spaceflight legend Dr. Christopher Kraft, Jr. will present the trophy. Please see the 2007 agenda for additional speakers.
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