Retired CEO of Orbital ATK named Space Trophy recipient

February 1st, 2019

David W. Thompson will receive the 2019 National Space Trophy.

The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation has selected David W. Thompson, retired president and CEO of Orbital ATK, to receive the 2019 National Space Trophy. The banquet honoring him will be held Friday, April 26, at the Houston Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston.

“The RNASA Foundation is extremely excited about recognizing Mr. Thompson as the guest of honor at the 2019 RNASA Space Award Gala,” Foundation President Rodolfo Gonzalez said, going on to invited the public and the aerospace community to attend the black-tie event.

Thompson was nominated for the award by Northrop Grumman Corp. Space Systems Group President Frank Culbertson. In recommending Thompson, Culbertson cited his “four decades of outstanding leadership and pioneering innovations in the development and operation of launch vehicles and satellite systems, which have transformed scientific, exploratory, commercial and defense applications of space.”

Thompson said, “It is with great enthusiasm, and even greater humility, that I accept the 2019 National Space Trophy! My heart-felt thanks to the RNASA Board of Advisors for selecting me for this highly-regarded honor.” Thompson began his four-decade long career in space technology as a young engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in 1978, following summer internships during college and graduate school at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Johnson Space Center and Langley Research Center.

His career as a space entrepreneur and business leader accelerated in the early 1980s when he and two Harvard Business School classmates founded Orbital Sciences Corp., a startup that focused on the development of space systems for commercial, military and scientific customers. Over the subsequent 35 years, Thompson led his company from its infancy to Fortune 500 status, reaching more than $5 billion in annual revenue and employing nearly 15,000 people in 2018.

As one of the world’s first commercial space enterprises, Orbital pioneered the investment of private capital for space systems development and manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, the company created a family of six new launch vehicles, including the Pegasus rocket and several missile defense vehicles, as well as an array of lower-cost satellites for both low-Earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous (GEO) applications. Thompson’s vision was that diverse customers – from traditional government agencies to new privately-owned satellite operators – would use these products, and that commercial-style business practices would reduce their costs and delivery times. The success of this strategy is reflected in the more than 1,000 rockets and satellites delivered by the company to over 50 customers since the 1980s.

Under Thompson’s leadership, Orbital expanded beyond its original business of research and manufacturing into providing space-based services in the 1990s and 2000s. More recently, the company partnered with NASA to develop the Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft commercial cargo system for the International Space Station, which has conducted 12 supply missions to ISS over the past six years. And later this year the company plans to inaugurate the world’s first in-space robotic servicing and repair of GEO communications satellites, launching an exciting new form of commercial space logistics operations.

In 2014, Orbital and its long-standing industry partner, Alliant Techsystems, merged to form Orbital ATK, a larger, more diversified space and defense systems company with a broader product line, including rocket propulsion for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift vehicle as well as motors for tactical and strategic missiles. Finally, last year Northrop Grumman purchased Orbital ATK for over $9 billion, forming Northrop’s Innovation Systems business sector. The merger with Northrop is expected to generate faster growth and new products, as well as creating greater opportunities for thousands of the company’s space engineers and scientists.

Thompson earned his B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Aeronautics from Caltech, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society and the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics.

He was AIAA’s president for the 2009-2010 year, and today serves as a member of the Boards of Trustees of Caltech, the Aerospace Corp., the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Hertz Foundation, and the Princeton University Astronomy Council. He was recently appointed to the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group and has been honored with numerous awards including the National Medal of Technology by President George H.W. Bush, as well as Virginia’s Industrialist of the Year and High-Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine.

Visit www.rnasa.org/tables.html to reserve a table for the RNASA Banquet and find information about sponsorships and tickets. To reserve a room at the Houston Hyatt Regency, visit www.rnasa.org/houston.html or call 713-654-1234 and request the RNASA group rate.

Former astronaut Dr. John Grunsfeld honored at RNASA Foundation Space Gala

May 3rd, 2017

Dr. Michael Griffin, right, congratulates Dr. John Grunsfeld on winning the National Space Trophy.

The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation presented the 2017 National Space Trophy to Dr. John Grunsfeld, former NASA associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, at the 31st annual RNASA Space Gala.

RNASA Foundation Chairman Rodolfo González opened the program by welcoming the guests to the April 28  gala at the Houston Hyatt Regency, saying that RNASA’s mission is to encourage, recognize, honor and celebrate U.S. space achievements from across the entire country and across all sectors.”

The Clear Brook High School JROTC Color Guard presented the colors, followed by members of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Girl Chorus, who sang the National Anthem, and the Rev. Madella Williams, senior pastor of Taylor Lake Christian Church, gave the invocation.

The RNASA program kicked off with a year-in-review film by Space City Films. Miles O’Brien, former CNN correspondent and current science correspondent for PBSNewsHour served as the emcee. Miles said, “John is a national treasure, who helped make this country great, long before that was a campaign slogan, and we thank him for that, and I’m proud that I’ve got to know him along the way.

Jeff Carr, Griffin Communications Group president, presented the 2017 Space Communicator Award to Rob Navias, Johnson Space Center Public Affairs Office Mission commentator, saying that Navias’ “…gift for sharing the human space flight experience are absolutely second to none. His impact on public awareness and understanding of human space flight are immeasurable.

In his acceptance remarks, Navias said, “Incredibly, my career has spanned the highest of human triumph, and the depths of human failure, the cheers and the tears of human endeavor. It is called the sublime symmetry of history. But whether triumph or tragedy, it all came down to communicating the news. Relaying the information to the media and to the public in very clear, unambiguous words.

Stellar Awards were presented to 25 individuals and 7 teams. The Stellar Award winners were announced by NASA astronauts Kjell Lindren and Kate Rubins, who then presented them with engraved marble trophies donated by Orbital ATK. The Stellar Awards were presented in Early Career, Mid-Career, Late Career, and Team categories.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson, who spoke from onboard International Space Station, sent a congratulatory message to Grunsfeld, telling him “as an astrophysicist, an astronaut and a senior leader, you helped unlock the mysteries of space and champion the best that science and engineering, working together, can achieve.

Dr. Michael Griffin, former NASA administrator and recipient of the 2009 National Space Trophy, presented the prestigious 2017 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement NST Award to Dr. John Grunsfeld. In his introductory comments, Griffin said “…if in John’s career he had done nothing but succored the Hubble Space Telescope in its many hours of need, he would still be worthy of tonight’s recognition, but he has done so much more. I think it is safe to say we would not have a future Mars program today without John’s efforts as head of the Science Mission Directorate.

Accepting the National Space Trophy, Grunsfeld said, “I’m optimistic and excited about our future in space and on Earth. Thank you for your attention, thank you for awarding me the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement. I’m truly honored and humbled.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen (Ret.) Thomas P. Stafford, Gemini and Apollo astronaut, and the 1993 National Space Trophy winner, presented an Omega Speedmaster watch to Grunsfeld, saying “congratulations on the National Space Award John. Outstanding career as an astronaut, then later on associate administrator of NASA, you’ve done so much.

TASC donated the portrait of Grunsfeld by Pat Rawlings, which was on display at the gala and used as the cover of the souvenir program. The portrait will become part of the National Space Trophy display at Space Center Houston for one year.

González concluded the evening by thanking the Foundation’s corporate sponsors whose support and achievements made the event possible: a.i. solutions, Inc., Aerojet Rocketdyne, The Aerospace Corp, Ares Corp., Barrios Technology, Bastion Technologies, Blue Origin, The Boeing Co., Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI International, Caltech/JPL, Fisher Space Pen, Jacobs, KBRwyle, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, MEI Technologies, Inc., Millennium Engineering & Integration Co., MORI Associates, , MRI Technologies , Oceaneering International, Omega, Orbital ATK, SAIC, SGT, SpaceX, Systems Planning and Analysis, TASC, University of Houston-Clear Lake, UTC Aerospace Systems and Vericon Technical Services.

Visit http://www.rnasa.org/photos.html for images from the event. Individual photos of each nominee and winner are available upon request.

About RNASA: The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation was founded by the Space Center Rotary Club of Houston in 1985 to organize and coordinate an annual event to recognize outstanding achievements in space and create greater public awareness of the benefits of space exploration.

Clear Lake Chatter: Variety of events get social season underway

October 1st, 2016

Clear Lake Area Panhellenic President Jill Reason, right, and hostess Cathy Osoria prepare to welcome the crowd to the Fall Friendship Tea.

Clear Lake Area Panhellenic President Jill Reason, right, and hostess Cathy Osoria prepare to welcome the crowd to the Fall Friendship Tea.

BAY AREA social calendars are filling up fast these days with Clear Lake Area Panhellenic and Houston Symphony League Bay Area kicking off the season with their annual welcome parties.

Clear Lake Panhellenic members filled Cathy Osaria’s Bay Oaks home to overflowing for their annual Fall Friendship Tea – catching up on each other’s news and planning the year ahead after a warm welcome from President Jill Reason and Chairman Jo Nell Hunter.

Looking over the crowd, you probably would have spotted Karen Weber, Michelle Richardson, Kelsey Richardson, Ondi Lyon, Jo Cat Bruce, Lisa O’Brian, Ruth Beecher, Emmeline Dodd, Sue Broughton, Sue Ellen Jennings, Holly Williamson and Kay Lee Benoit among the early arrivals.

Wasn’t long before they were joined by Belva Dewey, here from Baton Rouge, Diane Overman, Ann Gay, Laurie Vaughn, Judie Ferguson, Ellen King, Annette Dwyer, Darla McKitrick and dozens and dozens more.

Tracey Webb, dressed up as a jockey, even brought her son’s small horse to add to the merriment.

One of the afternoon’s highlights came as Fall Fashion Show Chairman D’Lisa Johnston announced the Kentucky Derby theme for Panhellenic’s big luncheon Friday, Nov. 4 at South Shore Harbour Resort. Instead of the Run for the Roses, it will be the “32nd annual Run for Scholarships,” as profits from the event provide scholarships for area graduates and funds to help local students attending Girls State.

To date, Panhellenic has provided scholarships totaling more than $500,000 with profits from its events.

There were smiles aplenty as the Houston Symphony League Bay Area hosted its annual Wine and Cheese Party, including those of Gillian Ford, Sallie Watts, Liana Russell, Cindy Kuenneke, Sisbee Winburne and Darlene Clark, from left, as they lined up for refreshments.

There were smiles aplenty as the Houston Symphony League Bay Area hosted its annual Wine and Cheese Party, including those of Gillian Ford, Sallie Watts, Liana Russell, Cindy Kuenneke, Sisbee Winburne and Darlene Clark, from left, as they lined up for refreshments.

Symphony League draws big crowd
HOUSTON SYMPHONY League Bay Area members launched the 2016-17 season with their annual Wine and Cheese Party to welcome new and prospective members.

Hostess Angie Weinman wore a big, warm smile as she joined Chairman Carolyn Murphy in greeting the arriving crowd that included Mary Ann Shallberg, Gillian Ford, Sallie Watts, Liana Russell, Cindy Kuenneke, Sisbee Winburne and Darlene Clark.

Dr. Patrick McKinney was there, chatting with President Mary Voigt and Vice President Jim Moore and his wife, Aggie, at the Weinmans’ Bay Oaks home in Clear Lake.

Looking around, you might also have spotted Pat Biddle, Carol Wilson, Sandra Strickhouser and Martha McWilliam, to name a few.

RNASA President Rodolfo Gonzalez, left, presents Mark Wright a check for $11,500 for the Texas Aerospace Scholars Program during Appreciation Dinner.

RNASA President Rodolfo Gonzalez, left, presents Mark Wright a check for $11,500 for the Texas Aerospace Scholars Program during Appreciation Dinner.

RNASA celebrates another success
THE ROTARY National Award for Space Achievement Foundation celebrated another successful Space Gala with RNASA President Rodolfo Gonzalez presenting a check for $11,500 to Mark Wright for the Texas Aerospace Scholars Program at its annual Appreciation Dinner at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant in Kemah.

Another $10,000 from the gala profits was presented to the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships Program in the name of this year’s gala honoree, Dr. Charles Elachi.

“I’m delighted that RNASA is making a generous donation on my behalf to the Research Fellowship Program, which enables a new generation of space explorers to work on research projects with seasoned mentors,” said Elachi, who recently retired as director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and is professor emeritus at Caltech.

Special guests included retired Johnson Space Center Director Mike Coats, Lorna Onizuka of the Challenger family, retired Rockwell President Dr. Glynn Lunney and his wife, Marilyn, and former RNASA President Floyd Bennett and his wife, Carolyn.

Some of the others joining them in the celebration were Vivian and Geoff Atwater, Lauran Rochon, Karen and Gary Johnson, Debbie and Tim Kropp, Jordis and Bob Wren, Kippy Caraway, Delia Stephens, Susan and Bill Taylor, Frank Perez and Priscilla Ennis, Jean Walker and Mark Hollis.

Fashion Show Chairman Karen Reed, right, receives congratulations from Bay Area Women’s Association President Jodie Schnabel on another successful event.

Fashion Show Chairman Karen Reed, right, receives congratulations from Bay Area Women’s Association President Jodie Schnabel on another successful event.

Fashions for fall on BOWA’s radar
BAY OAKS Women’s Association members were out in force the other day when BOWA kicked off the season with its popular Fall Fashion Show, featuring the latest styles from Sandy Carney’s The Clotheshorse in League City.

Rest assured, she did not disappoint, sending Angela Bivens, Mary Colombo, Susan Franklin, Tencha Heimlich, Sue Ellen Jennings, Elaine Rister, Jodi Schnabel, Amy Schweers, Dee Wolfe and Cindy Zook down the runway in an array of beautiful outfits.

Much to the delight of Jackie Daley, Sandy Lantz, Ann Brady, Eileen Hult, Yvonne Perrin, Carlene Langford, Glenna Crist,  Norma Ogletree, Ruth Beecher, Joan Wade, Mary Smith, Traci Dvorak, Judie Ferguson, Janice Gornto, Kathy Costanza and Chairman Karen Reed.

They were among dozens who oo’d and aa’d including Pam Ploss, Emmeline Dodd, Carol Bobo, Gloria Wong, Rita Armstrong, Angela Swint, Tencha Heimlich, Priss Fletcher, Ann Dooley, Sue Broughton, Janet Greenwood, Sarita Singh, Sharon Phelps, Diane Konick, Georgia Piwonka and Rebecca Richey.

RNASA’s 2016 Stellar Awards winners announced

May 12th, 2016

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The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation honored the dedication of the space workers at the annual Space Awards Gala on Friday, April 29, by presenting the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar Awards.

Every year, the aerospace community anxiously awaits the announcement of the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar Award winners.

The 2016 Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel, Dr. Glynn Lunney, Arnold Aldrich, Col. Eileen Collins and Michael Coats selected the winners based on which accomplishments have advanced U.S. space capabilities and hold the greatest promise of future capabilities.

Out of 137 nominations received, the Panel selected 19 individuals and 7 teams for recognition. Prior to the evening’s festivities, all nominees were treated to a behind-the- scenes tour of the Johnson Space Center and a luncheon at South Shore Harbour Resort. Stellar Awards Committee Chairman Jennifer Devolites welcomed the nominees and then said, "You are here because you are excellent.” She asked the nominees to consider using their excellence to provide leadership to others, take on mentoring, and to also take risks and get outside of their comfort zones with regard to what they already do well.

Capt. Sunita Williams was the featured speaker at the Stellar Awards Luncheon. Launched on STS-116 in December 2006, Williams joined the Expedition 14 crew onboard the International Space Station. She completed three spacewalks in 2007, setting a new record for spacewalk time by a woman that stood until December 2008. Upon landing in June 2007, she had spent a record-breaking 194 days, 18 hours and 58 minutes in space.

Each nominee received a Fisher Space Pen donated by the company. The Fisher Space Pen was originally carried by the astronauts on the Apollo moon missions and is still used on manned space flights to this day. They are precision assembled, hand tested, and guaranteed to perform underwater, at any angle including upside down, in extreme temperatures, and of course in zero gravity.

All the Stellar nominees had their photo taken as they received a special commemorative certificate with a United States flag that was flown aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-108, Dec. 5 – 17, 2001.

The Stellar Award winners were announced at the RNASA evening gala on April 29, 2016 by Astronaut Rex Walheim and Astronaut Stephanie Wilson who presented them with engraved marble trophies donated by Orbital ATK. The winners in each of the four categories, Early Career, Mid Career, Late Career and Team are:

Stellar Award Winners – Early Career, from left, Rex Walheim (presenting), Kiril Dontchev, Dr. Brien Flewelling, Alan Kim, Sarah Baldwin, Anthony Cook, Stephanie Wilson (presenting). Not Pictured: Cora Traecy.

Stellar Award Winners – Early Career, from left, Rex Walheim (presenting), Kiril Dontchev, Dr. Brien Flewelling, Alan Kim, Sarah Baldwin, Anthony Cook, Stephanie Wilson (presenting).
Not Pictured: Cora Traecy.

2016 Stellar Award Winners in the Early Career Category

Sarah Baldwin of Aerojet Rocketdyne – Outstanding leadership, technical excellence, and innovation in flight operations contributing to the 100% mission success of the rs-68 rocket engine.

Alan Kim of The Boeing Co. – Engineering excellence in solving difficult stress analysis challenges for SLS.

Dr. Brien Flewelling of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory – Outstanding contributions to image processing and computer vision applied to advanced space object detection, tracking, identification, and characterization.

Cora Treacy of UTC Aerospace Systems – Outstanding management effectiveness in support of the eatcs, eclss and regenerative eclss on-board the international space station.

Kiril Dontchev of SpaceX – Recognized for exceptional leadership overseeing the pad abort test of the crew dragon spacecraft’s integrated launch abort system.

Anthony Cook of The Boeing Co. – Outstanding leadership and technical contributions to development, implementation, and delivery of new iss nitrogen/oxygen resupply system compatible with multiple launch systems.

Stellar Award Winners – Mid Career, from left, Stephanie Wilson (presenting), Paul Connolly, Lorraine Prokop, Anthony DiCello, Bruce Sommer, Leslie Robertson, Shelia Sharp, Rex Walheim (presenting). Not Pictured: Judith Blackwell-Thompson, Lt. Col. Christian Elenbaum.

Stellar Award Winners – Mid Career, from left, Stephanie Wilson (presenting), Paul
Connolly, Lorraine Prokop, Anthony DiCello, Bruce Sommer, Leslie Robertson, Shelia Sharp, Rex Walheim (presenting). Not Pictured: Judith Blackwell-Thompson, Lt. Col. Christian Elenbaum.

2016 Stellar Award Winners in the Mid-Career Category

Leslie Robertson of The Boeing Co. – Outstanding technical knowledge and ingenuity in development and deployment of compiler, patch and review tools for the iss program, including training and support across iss software development teams.

Bruce Sommer of Lockheed Martin – Outstanding human spaceflight contributions for improving iss and orion mpcv crew safety and ensuring mission success.

Judith Blackwell-Thompson of NASA Kennedy Space Center – Exemplary leadership and sustained contributions to manned space flight launch planning and execution.

Anthony Dicello of The Boeing Co. – Exceptional leadership contributions of the development of the first two international docking adapters which will adapt the international space station for docking by the next generation of commercial crew transportation systems.

Lorraine Prokop of NASA Johnson Space Center – Pioneering contributions to aerospace software engineering, including significant advances in human spaceflight software affordability.

Paul Connolly of Pratt & Whitney – Outstanding contributions to understanding the ORSC cycle and its operation in the rd-180 rocket engine.

Lt. Col. Christian Elenbaum of U.S. Air Force – Exceptional contributions to space based infrared systems program reducing satellite production costs over one billion dollars.

Sheila Sharp of The Boeing Co. – Outstanding accomplishments in the leadership, mentorship and development of critical teams in the definition, design and integration of program requirements and resolution resulting in program progress, compliance and overall performance.

Stellar Award Winners – Late Career, from left, Rex Walheim (presenting), George Dickey Arndt, Laurence Price, Dr. Geoffrey Landis, Mark Craig, Robert Brazier, Stephanie Wilson (presenting).

Stellar Award Winners – Late Career, from left, Rex Walheim (presenting), George Dickey Arndt, Laurence Price, Dr. Geoffrey Landis, Mark Craig, Robert Brazier, Stephanie Wilson (presenting).

2016 Stellar Award Winners in the Late Career Category

Mark Craig of SAIC – Outstanding career of service to NASA dedicated to improving the value of human space exploration spanning Apollo, space shuttle, space station and beyond.

Dr. Geoffrey Landis of NASA’s Glenn Research Center – Exceptional technical achievements and leadership in developing photovoltaic power systems and advanced concepts in support of NASA missions.

Lawrence Price of Lockheed Martin – Outstanding leadership and international collaboration to take the Orion program from development to space flight vehicles for NASA’s human exploration missions.

George Dickey Arndt of Johnson Space Center – Outstanding dedication to exceptional electromagnetic technology development utilizing collaborations from within and outside the agency.

Robert Brazier of Aerojet Rocketdyne – Invaluable contributions and leadership in the production of liquid rocket propulsion in support of the advancement of America’s space programs.

Stellar Award Winners – Team, from left, Rex Walheim (presenting), Andrew Zarechnak (OA-4 Return to Flight Team of Orbital ATK), Unidentified team member, Corey Duncan (Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space Program Team), Debbie Sharp (ISS Hardware Recovery Team), Carolyn Gernux (Fan/Pump/Separator Bearing Corrosion Anomaly Resolution Team), Yasmin Ali (Pendulum Team), Janine Cuevas (EFT-1/Orion Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Team), Brian Jones (Orion EM-1 Critical Design Review Team), Stephanie Wilson (presenting).

Stellar Award Winners – Team, from left, Rex Walheim (presenting), Andrew Zarechnak (OA-4 Return to Flight Team of Orbital ATK), Unidentified team member, Corey Duncan (Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space Program Team), Debbie Sharp (ISS Hardware Recovery Team), Carolyn Gernux (Fan/Pump/Separator Bearing Corrosion Anomaly Resolution Team), Yasmin Ali (Pendulum Team), Janine Cuevas (EFT-1/Orion Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Team), Brian Jones (Orion EM-1 Critical Design Review Team), Stephanie Wilson (presenting).

Stellar Award Winners – Team

EFT-1/Orion Propulsion Team of Aerojet Rocketdyne – Outstanding team dedication and attention to detail during development, production, flight readiness, and flight, resulting in significant achievement on orion eft-1 and paving the way for advanced future space activities. Award accepted by Janine Cuevas.

Pendulum Team of Johnson Space Center – Outstanding team effort in mitigating the orion pendulum motion anomaly. Award accepted by Yasmin Ali.

Fan/Pump/Separator Bearing Corrosion Anomaly Resolution Team of UTC Aerospace Systems – Outstanding achievement in preparation for and execution of a contingency eva to eliminate an ammonia leak that jepordized the international space station. Award accepted by Carolyn Gernux.

International Space Station Hardware Recovery Team for Launch on HTV-5 of The Boeing Company – Quickly accelerating manufacture and test of hardware, and rebuilding several critical hardware items for on-time delivery to meet the htv-5 launch, support on-orbit operations, and support crew health and safety. Award accepted by Debbie Sharp.

Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space (Angels) Program Team of U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory – Outstanding team achievement in evolving the air force’s ability to responsively perform space situation awareness missions. Award accepted by Corey Duncan.

OA-4 Return to Flight Team of Orbital ATK – Outstanding technical and management excellence in providing timely reinstatement of cygnus cargo resupply services to the iss. Award accepted by Andrew Zarechnak.

Orion EM-1 Critical Design Review Team of Lockheed Martin – Excellence in preparation, execution and follow through of the orion exploration mission critical design review that resulted in nasa’s authorization to proceed to spacecraft production. Award accepted by Brian Jones.

Visit http://www.rnasa.org/photos.html for images from the event. Individual photos of each nominee and winner are available upon request.

 

RNASA honors Dr. Charles Elachi with National Space Trophy

May 9th, 2016

Lt. Gen Thomas P. Stafford, USAF (Ret.), Gemini and Apollo astronaut, and the 1993 National Space Trophy winner, presented an Omega watch to Elachi.

Lt. Gen Thomas P. Stafford, USAF (Ret.), Gemini and Apollo astronaut, and the 1993 National
Space Trophy winner, presented an Omega watch to Elachi.

By Lindsey Cousins

The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation presented the 2016 National Space Trophy to Dr. Charles Elachi, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, at the 30th annual RNASA Space Awards Gala April 29 at the Houston Hyatt Regency.

After the ceremonies opened with “The Soul of the Explorer,” a short film by Space City Films, RNASA Foundation Chairman Rodolfo González welcomed the guests to the black tie gala, pointing out that “RNASA’s mission is to encourage, recognize, honor and celebrate U.S. space achievements from across the entire country and across all sectors.”

The Clear Lake High School JROTC Color Guard presented the colors, followed by Reagan Johnson, who sang the National Anthem and the Rev. William H. King III of Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, who gave the invocation. Former National Space Trophy winners in attendance also were recognized — Col. Robert Cabana, Gen. Charles Bolden, Capt. Michael Coats, Bill Gerstenmaier, Dr. Michael Griffin, Col. Eileen Collins, Dr. Glynn Lunney, Tommy Holloway, and Lt. Gen. Thomas Stafford. U.S. congressman John Culberson, representing the Texas 7th district was also in attendance and recognized.

After dinner, the program kicked off with a year-in- review film by Space City Films. Miles O’Brien, former CNN correspondent and current science correspondent for PBSNewsHour served as the emcee.

American political satirist and author, P.J. O’Rourke had the crowd laughing as the evenings’ featured speaker, after which Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham presented the 2016 Space Communicator Award to Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society and best known for his role as Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The Stellar Award winners were announced by astronauts Rex Walheim and Stephanie Wilson, who presented them with engraved marble trophies donated by Orbital ATK. The Stellar Awards were presented in Early Career, Mid-Career, Late Career, and Team categories.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, recipient of the 2014 National Space Trophy, presented the 2016 National Space Trophy to Dr. Charles Elachi, who is retiring as JPL director after a long, distinguished career.

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra sent a message down from the International Space Station praising the work of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and congratulating Dr. Elachi on receiving the National Space Trophy. To further commemorate the 30th annual event, the giant 500-pound National Space Trophy housed at Space Center Houston was also on display on center stage.