National Space Society Honors JPL’s Voyager Team: “Humans have never before reached so far”

For 40 years, two small spacecraft launched in 1977 have sped past the planets in our solar system and beyond, carrying humanity’s messages etched on gold disks. Their journey into the depths of interstellar space will continue indefinitely.

To honor this unprecedented achievement, the National Space Society (NSS) has announced that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team that designed, built and operated the Voyager spacecraft has been named the 2018 recipient of NSS’ Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering.

 

NSS Senior Operating Officer Bruce Pittman said, “The two Voyager spacecraft, launched over 40 years ago, sent back amazing pictures of the outer solar system, including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and the Saturnian moon Titan, bringing the majestic beauty of the outer solar system to people around the world.” Pittman continued, “The fact that the Voyager spacecraft are still operational and sending back useful data is a great testament to the talent of the hundreds of scientists and engineers who worked so hard to make this incredible mission possible.” This National Space Society award recognizes the JPL team for their amazing scientific and engineering achievements.

The prestigious award will be presented to Dr. Michael Watkins, Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, at the Society’s 37th annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC®), to be held at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel from May 24-27, 2018. NSS invites the public to come meet, interact and learn from Dr. Watkins and attend his award ceremony.

For more information, see: isdc2018.nss.org

Past recipients of the Space Pioneer Award include: Elon Musk, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bigelow, Apollo Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Dr. Michael Griffin, the Rosetta Mission Team, the Kepler-K2 Team, and the New Horizons Mission Team.

The National Space Society was formed by a merger of the National Space Institute, founded in 1974 by NASA’s Wernher von Braun, father of the Saturn V rocket, and the L5 Society, founded in 1975, inspired by the pioneering work of Princeton physicist Gerard K. O’Neill.

The National Space Society Honors Jeff Bezos with the Gerard K. O’Neill Memorial Award

The National Space Society has named Jeff Bezos its 2018 recipient of the prestigious Gerard K. O’Neill Memorial Award for Space Settlement Advocacy to be awarded at the Society’s yearly conference in May 2018.

“Jeff Bezos has articulated exactly what our thousands of supporters work toward at the National Space Society,” said Mark Hopkins, Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee. “Few have done so much to advance space development and this award recognizes Bezos’ extraordinary advocacy and record of accomplishment.”

Bezos is the Founder and CEO of Amazon, as well as the Founder of aerospace company Blue Origin. Blue Origin is focused on building reusable launch systems to lower the cost of access to space. New Shepard, named after Alan Shepard, will take astronauts to the edge of space on a thrilling 11-minute flight. New Glenn, named after John Glenn, will be capable of taking people and large payloads to earth orbit and beyond. Blue Origin is also developing liquid rocket engines.

Bruce Pittman, NSS Chief Operating Officer, said, “As the founder of space development company Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos has both advanced and accelerated our progress and has been a tireless advocate for new and innovative approaches. As such, he personifies the very best in the field of space development and joins a distinguished list of previous recipients.”

The award will be presented to Jeff Bezos on Friday, May 25 at the NSS’s 37th annual International Space Development Conference® (ISDC®) in Los Angeles. The conference runs from May 24-27 and features leaders from space science, engineering, advocacy and government fields who are developing new ways to develop, live and prosper in space and on other worlds.

The Gerard K. O’Neill Memorial Award is given at infrequent intervals to exceptional individuals, and has in the past recognized such leaders in space exploration and development as physicist Freeman Dyson and Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist Harrison Schmitt. The granting of the award to Jeff Bezos continues this tradition of recognizing exemplary achievement.

For more information, see: isdc2018.nss.org.

The National Space Society was formed by a merger of the National Space Institute, founded in 1974 by NASA’s Wernher von Braun, father of the Saturn V rocket, and the L5 Society, founded in 1975, inspired by the pioneering work of Princeton physicist Gerard K. O’Neill.

National Space Society to Present Space Pioneer Award to SETI Astronomer Frank Drake

Dr. Frank Drake is the winner of the National Space Society’s 2018 Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering. This award honors the work he has done as a professional astronomer, especially as a radio astronomer, technical advisor for the Golden Record on the Voyager mission, and as a leader in the science-based Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) community.

NSS invites the public to come meet, interact and learn from the awardees and attend their award ceremonies. NSS will present the Space Pioneer Award to Dr. Drake at our annual conference, the 37th International Space Development Conference (ISDC®) to be held in Los Angeles, California, at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX. The Conference will run from May 24-27, 2018.

About Dr. Frank Drake

Dr. Frank Drake has a huge array of accomplishments, which includes his work at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, JPL, Cornell University, the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (Arecibo), the National Research Council, the University of California at Santa Cruz and other institutions. He was among a group that pushed for the conversion of Arecibo into one of the world’s top and most unique radio astronomy facilities, and served as its director from 1966-1968.

He is a leader in the SETI field, which has now existed for over 55 years and with the SETI institute, which has existed for over 30 years. He pioneered the Drake Equation, which provided a rational and quantifiable way of estimating the number of potential civilizations in our galaxy and elsewhere. More of the terms of that equation are now being solidified as the new exoplanet data streams in and the proven number of roughly Earth-sized planets continues to climb.

He did visionary work 40 years ago with the Voyager missions and as Technical Director of the Golden Record containing Earth’s greatest music, spoken greetings, “Sounds of Earth,” and more than 100 images encoded as audio signals. These were technological feats of their time.

This ‘message’ from Earth was designed to be understandable by extraterrestrials should they encounter the spacecraft which have now traveled beyond our Sun’s heliopause into interstellar space. The newer emphasis on using optical frequencies to look for evidence of artificial signals is opening up a whole new area in radio astronomy and SETI.

He was also one of the creators of the Arecibo Message, a binary encoded image 210 bytes long, which was sent to the globular star cluster M13 in November, 1974 by the Arecibo telescope itself. The message included common scientific information, and some information about Earth and the solar system

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque as shown at right. The support and base are created by renowned sculptor Michael Hall of the Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988. Some of the recent winners of Space Pioneer Awards include Elon Musk, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bigelow, Apollo Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Dr. Michael Griffin, the Rosetta Mission Team, the Kepler-K2 Team, and the New Horizons Mission Team.

Freeman Dyson, Famed Physicist, Wins the National Space Society’s Prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award

National Space Society members have voted to give Freeman Dyson the prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award. This award honors the work he has done as a ground-breaking physicist and mathematician, and as a major thought leader in the science and space communities for over half a century.

NSS invites the public to come meet, interact and learn from our awardees and attend their award ceremonies. NSS will present Freeman with the Heinlein Award at their 37th annual International Space Development Conference® (ISDC)® to be held in Los Angeles, California, at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX. The Conference will run from May 24-27, 2018.

About Freeman Dyson

The Heinlein award recognizes Dyson’s many years of work, both in science and in the public arena, advancing fundamental physics and math, and promoting and explaining the future role of humans in space which NSS hopes will lead to a free spacefaring civilization. This includes his position for many years as President of the Space Studies Institute, founded by space visionary Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill.

Dyson was a leader of the early space age in the 1950s and 60s through his work with Project Orion, a revolutionary space propulsion concept. His numerous ideas and detailed technical work have contributed enormously to space transport, development and settlement. The vision of self-sustaining human settlements in space and on planetary surfaces as part of a free, spacefaring civilization, is at the very heart of the space movement.

Dyson received a BA in mathematics from Trinity College, Cambridge after World War II. He had a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton from 1953 to 1994, where he still resides as a professor emeritus. He is best known for his numerous and significant contributions in the fields of physics and mathematics, including support for and practical use of Feynman Diagrams and creating a better understanding of quantum electrodynamics by unifying the three previously existing versions of that theory.

He is also well known for his concept of the so-called “Dyson Sphere” in which an advanced civilization would build many structures around its star to capture most or all of its energy. This concept has been misinterpreted by many to incorrectly imply a solid sphere around a star. He is the author of many popular books on science and ethics including Disturbing the Universe, Imagined Worlds, and The Scientist as Rebel.

His work has helped in understanding the space environment and even the very nature of space-time and matter itself. His life-long rationally-based poking at scientific sacred cows has helped to keep alive the spirit of open discussion within the scientific community. Few have made such rich contributions to these fields.

About the Robert A. Heinlein Award

The Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award honors those individuals who have made significant, lifetime contributions to the creation of a free spacefaring civilization. The Award is named after author Robert A. Heinlein, widely recognized as the dean of science fiction writers, in memory of him and of his many contributions to the pro-space movement. Heinlein served for about a decade as a director of the L5 Society, predecessor of NSS, and attended ISDC in 1983. NSS members vote to choose who will win this prestigious award which is given every two years.

The award consists of a miniature brass naval cannon mounted on a solid mahogany base with a brass plaque and an inlay of Italian black granite. The barrel is inscribed with one of Heinlein’s favorite acronyms “TANSTAAFL” (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). The award concept came from one of Heinlein’s classic novels, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The cannon represents defiance of conventional wisdom when necessary. In modern terms, this means being able to “think outside of the box.” Previous Heinlein Award Winners are Jerry Pournelle, Elon Musk, Dr. Stephen Hawking, Dr. Peter Diamandis, Burt Rutan, General Chuck Yeager, Capt. James Lovell, Robert Zubrin, Neil Armstrong, Carl Sagan, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Robert H. Goddard, Gene Roddenberry, Dr. Wernher von Braun, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, and Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill.

NSS Heinlein Award

The Cassini and Huygens Teams Win the National Space Society’s 2018 Space Pioneer Awards for Science and Engineering

The NASA and European Space Agency Cassini and Huygens Teams are the winners of the National Space Society’s 2018 Space Pioneer Awards for Science and Engineering. Saturn has been revealed to science in great detail at last by the Cassini-Huygens mission. The mission saw the Cassini spacecraft meander through the moons and rings of Saturn for thirteen years, while the Huygens probe made a daring descent through the hazy atmosphere of Titan to soft land on the ice-covered ocean world in January 2005.

NSS invites the public to come meet, interact and learn from the mission teams. NSS will present the Space Pioneer Awards to each team’s representatives at our annual conference, the 2018 International Space Development Conference (the 37th ISDC) to be held in Los Angeles, California, at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX. The conference will run from May 24-27, 2018.

Saturn is our solar system’s most iconic-looking planet with its vast system of spectacular rings and numerous unique moons. It was shrouded in mystery throughout our history until it was first unveiled by NASA’s Pioneer and Voyager fly-bys.

As the Cassini-Huygens mission has been carried out by two teams over a very long period of time, NSS is pleased to be able to present awards to representatives of both the Cassini Team and the Huygens Team. This award recognizes the massive amount of work carried out by the two teams to propose, design, launch and operate the Cassini and Huygens missions and to receive and analyze the data over many years.

Cassini-Huygens at Saturn and Titan. Illustration: ESA.

About the Mission

The Cassini-Huygens mission was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana – ASI). NASA developed the Cassini Saturn orbiter, ESA developed the Huygens Titan Probe, and ASI, in addition to its contribution to Huygens through ESA, supplied major components to Cassini, including its high gain antenna and parts of several orbiter instruments.The dual-spacecraft mission was launched on Oct 15, 1997, over 20 years ago, and is regarded as one of the most significant space missions in history.

The Cassini spacecraft, with its array of cameras, spectrometers, and in-situ instruments, returned an enormous amount of data and images from Saturn and its surroundings. It thoroughly mapped many of the moons of Saturn. Most notably, Cassini discovered a plume of water vapor and icy particles venting into space from a subsurface ocean within the moon Enceladus. This finding has helped pivot the search for life beyond Earth toward the underground oceans inside a variety of outer solar system objects. The Huygens probe directly studied the atmosphere of Titan during its descent. Its images revealed a rugged landscape with branching drainage channels and possible dry lake bottoms, along with the first images taken from the surface of a world in the outer solar system on January 14, 2005.

Multiple flybys of Titan by Cassini itself have helped to create a global map of the only other world in our solar system with active (methane) rain storms affecting a solid water ice surface. The Cassini spacecraft’s mission ended with an intentional plunge into Saturn on September 15, 2017, one-month short of its 20th launch anniversary.

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque as shown at right. The support and base are created by renowned sculptor Michael Hall of the Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988. Some of the recent winners of Space Pioneer Awards include Elon Musk, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bigelow, Apollo Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Dr. Michael Griffin, the Rosetta Mission Team, the Kepler-K2 Team, and the New Horizons Mission Team.

SPACE Canada’s George Dietrich Wins the National Space Society’s 2017 Special Merit Space Pioneer Award

George Dietrich, the founding President of SPACE Canada, is the winner of the National Space Society’s 2017 Space Pioneer Award in the Special Merit category. This award recognizes his dedicated support for Space Solar Power and conferences that cover it.

The National Space Society invites the public to join them in presenting the Space Pioneer Award to George Dietrich at its Gala Dinner on Sunday, May 28, 2017 at the 36th NSS International Space Development Conference® (isdc.nss.org/2017). The conference will be held in St Louis, Missouri, at the Union Station Hotel, running from May 25-29, 2017.

About George Dietrich

George DietrichGeorge Dietrich is a lawyer by profession and a space development supporter by preference. George is the founding President of SPACE Canada. SPACE (Solar Power Alternative for Clean Energy) Canada is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of solar energy from space; an abundant and sustainable source of safe, affordable clean energy for the world.

George graduated from the University of Windsor Law School in 1989. He also holds degrees in Science (Physics and Mathematics) and the Arts (Political Science). He received his Masters Degree in Law from McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law in 2002. He has written articles on space law and co-authored an article on the international legal prerequisites of solar power satellites with Jeff Kehoe and William Goldstein. George Dietrich was called to the bar of the Province of Ontario, Canada in 1991. His law firm is located in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

George has provided direct and generous support for many events over the last decade in direct support for space-based solar power (SBSP). NSS believes that SBSP is the only currently existing means of electricity production with sufficient capacity to provide human civilization with the power it needs. Such abundant, clean power is needed, both to raise the global standard of living and to end the release of carbon-based greenhouse gases. SBSP is extremely efficient in use of materials and land compared to most other existing energy sources including ground-based solar power. NSS supports the creation of a free, spacefaring civilization, for which we will need such a large source of clean energy, both on Earth and in space.

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, as shown at right, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by the greatly respected Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988. Some of the recent winners of Space Pioneer Awards include Elon Musk, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bigelow, Apollo Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Dr. Michael Griffin, and the Rosetta Mission Team.

Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford Wins the National Space Society’s 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Historic Space Achievement

Lieutenant General Thomas P. Stafford, USAF, Ret, is the winner of the National Space Society’s 2017 Space Pioneer Award in the Historic Space Achievement category. This award covers his service in the Gemini, Apollo and Apollo-Soyuz programs. In particular, the flight of Gemini 9A on June 3, 1966, was 51 years ago.

The National Space Society invites the public to join them in presenting the Pioneer Award to General Stafford on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the 36th NSS International Space Development Conference® (isdc.nss.org/2017). The conference will be held in St Louis, Missouri, at the Union Station Hotel, running from May 25-29, 2017.

About Astronaut and Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford

Thomas P. StaffordThomas Stafford graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 but quickly became a US Air Force Officer. He graduated from the Experimental Test Pilot School in 1959, and then held leadership roles in the Air Force, including being a flight test instructor and creator of flight test manuals. Then in 1962, he was selected for the second group of U.S. Astronauts. Three years later he flew on Gemini 6, which performed the world’s first space rendezvous. Then he flew on Gemini 9A, which is memorable for the “Angry Alligator” appearance of the launch shroud on the Agena’s docking adapter. The failure of the release system prevented the docking which was a major flight objective. He also flew on Apollo 10 on May 18, 1969, the second flight to reach the Moon, paving the way for Apollo 11. His last flight was as U.S. Commander for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project on July 15, 1975. His leadership has continued after his retirement from the Astronaut Corp in 1975, as he served on the Space Policy Advisory Council 1990-91, and continues to serve as the Chairman of the NASA International Space Station Advisory Committee.

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, as shown at right, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by the greatly respected Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988. Some of the recent winners of Space Pioneer Awards include Elon Musk, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bigelow, Apollo Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Dr. Michael Griffin, and the Rosetta Mission Team.

ESA Director Wörner Wins National Space Society’s Prestigious von Braun Award

Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), is the winner of the National Space Society’s 2017 prestigious Wernher von Braun Memorial Award. This award recognizes Wörner as an effective leader of the European Space Agency and the contributions of ESA to the world space community. Prof. Wörner will accept the award on Friday, May 26, 2017 at the National Space Society’s 2017 International Space Development Conference® (isdc.nss.org/2017). This will be the 36th ISDC® and will be held in St Louis, Missouri at the Union Station Hotel. The conference is open to all and will run from May 25-29, 2017. Prof. Wörner will join other luminaries such as NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier, Gemini and Apollo astronaut Thomas Stafford, space program pioneers MAC’s Old Team, and the Kepler-K2 space mission team.

About the von Braun Award

Von Braun AwardThe von Braun award is given in odd-numbered years to recognize excellence in management of and leadership for a space-related project or effort. The project or effort must be significant and successful and the manager must have the loyalty of a strong team. The award was originally proposed in 1992 by National Space Society Awards Committee member Frederick I. Ordway III, a close associate of and co-author with Wernher von Braun.

As shown to the left, the award consists of a representation of the von Braun “Ferry Rocket” design from the early 1950’s, beside a representation of the actual Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo program. These are set on a base inlaid with black granite and with a brass plaque. The two rocket figures are to scale: one represents the dream, the other—fulfilled reality. This award was created and cast in stainless steel by Michael Hall, a renowned artist, sculptor and foundryman, owner of the Studio Foundry in Driftwood, TX. Recent winners include the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Mars rover) Team, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (former President of India), and Elon Musk. More information about the von Braun award and past recipients can be found on the NSS awards page.

About Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner

WornerAs ESA Director General, Prof. Wörner heads one of the world’s leading space organizations. ESA is contributing to the current global effort to explore the solar system via important projects like ExoMars and Rosetta/Philae. ESA is also in cooperation with projects at other space agencies worldwide like the James Webb Space Telescope.

NSS recognizes Prof. Wörner’s great success in leadership, both in academia and in government, and his excellence in mediation. He is now using both skills to support the space community and expedite its goals.

From July 1995 to February 2007, Wörner was the president of the Technical University of Darmstadt. In 2011, the state government of Baden-Wurttemberg appointed him to serve as a mediator for the railroad infrastructure project Stuttgart 21. Before joining ESA, between 2007 and 2015, Prof. Wörner served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Centre, DLR, as well as Chairman of the ESA Council from 2012 to 2014. As head of ESA, he is promoting the “Moon village” concept, a vision for global cooperation beyond the International Space Station era. This would be a great asset to an integrated human space program. His support of public-private partnerships as part of the “Space 4.0 approach” aligns with the NSS vision and is supported by NSS.

“MAC’s Old Team” Wins the National Space Society’s 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Special Merit

“MAC’s Old Team,” consisting of former employees of the McDonnell Aircraft, McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing Companies in the St. Louis area, is the winner of the National Space Society’s 2017 Space Pioneer Award in the Special Merit category. This award recognizes the exemplary work this team did building our nation’s historic Mercury and Gemini spacecraft beginning 59 years ago!

The National Space Society invites the public to join them in presenting the Pioneer Award to MAC’s Old Team on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the 36th NSS International Space Development Conference® (isdc.nss.org/2017). The conference will be held in St Louis, Missouri, at the Union Station Hotel, running from May 25-29, 2017.

Macs Old Team
MAC’s Old Team. Photo taken at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center.

Members of MAC’s Old Team feel privileged to have worked on the Mercury and Gemini programs and are proud of a series of firsts which include:

  • The first American to fly in space
  • The first American to orbit the Earth
  • The first spacecraft to change orbits
  • The first American to perform an EVA
  • The first in-orbit rendezvous between two spacecraft
  • The first docking between two spacecraft
  • The setting of spacecraft flight endurance and altitude records

As historically significant as these achievements may be, however, the team is most proud of the safety record. Over a period of more than five years and sixteen manned flights, nineteen different astronauts flew on Mercury and Gemini missions with durations ranging from fifteen minutes to two weeks without injury or loss of life.

About MAC’s Old Team

Members of this team under McDonnell Aircraft Company worked on the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, which supported, developed and proved the methodology necessary for the Apollo Program to reach the Moon. The company was “ground zero” for America’s first human spaceflight program, flying six Mercury and ten Gemini manned missions for those programs. James S. McDonnell, company founder and CEO, had the foresight to use company funds to carry out original design studies for a manned satellite well before the launch of Sputnik 1 and well before being chosen as a prime contractor, which was announced on February 13, 1959. Beyond designing and building the spacecraft, much of the simulation and training for America’s first astronauts also happened in St. Louis, and those astronauts worked closely with the McDonnell employees.

MAC’s Old Team’s influence on the nation’s space programs did not end with Mercury and Gemini. Team members continued to work on several programs including: Skylab, the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, the Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle), the International Space Station, Hexagon, and other NASA, military and company-funded programs.

Why are they called MAC’s Old Team?

“THIS IS MAC CALLING THE TEAM. THIS IS OLD MAC CALLING ALL THE TEAM.” All employees would hear these words over the company PA system announcing special events and introducing visiting dignitaries which included the President of the United States. What could be more fitting to honor Mr. McDonnell’s memory than ‘MAC’s Old Team’?

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, as shown at right, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by the greatly respected Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988. Some of the recent winners of Space Pioneer Awards include Elon Musk, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bigelow, Apollo Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Dr. Michael Griffin, and the Rosetta Mission Team.

National Space Society Honors NASA’s William H. Gerstenmaier with 2017 Space Pioneer Award

William H. Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC, is the recipient of the National Space Society’s 2017 Space Pioneer Award in the Non-Legislative Government Service category.

William GerstenmaierThis award recognizes Mr. Gerstenmaier’s service as Associate Administrator as well as his dynamic career with NASA, which spans 40 years!

The award will be presented on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the National Space Society’s 2017 International Space Development Conference® (isdc.nss.org/2017). This will be the 36th ISDC® and will be held in St Louis, Missouri, at the Union Station Hotel. The conference is open to the public and will run from May 25-29, 2017.

About William Gerstenmaier:

The National Space Society presents this award to outstanding individuals like Mr. Gerstemaier who share our vision to advance humanity’s presence in space. Throughout his career and for many years under his management, Mr. Gerstenmaier has overseen the development and maintenance of the International Space Station – a blueprint for global cooperation off the Earth. Mr. Gerstenmaier’s indelible contributions to space station operations are helping to facilitate the growth of a robust commercial market in low-Earth orbit (LEO) for scientific research, technology development, and human and cargo transportation.

As commercial space companies build on NASA and its partners’ many achievements in LEO, the agency’s human exploration efforts are focused on an ambitious journey to send humans beyond the Moon and farther into space than we have ever traveled. NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, Orion crewed spacecraft, the commercial crew program, and a revitalized space launch complex in Florida were all managed under Mr. Gerstenmaier’s vision and leadership. The best of NASA’s human spaceflight program is yet to come, and that is largely thanks to what Mr. Gerstenmaier and the spaceflight team have done to push the boundaries in space for humans.

Before becoming Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters, he has held a series of leadership positions at the agency. These include manager of Space Shuttle Program Integration, head of the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle Operations Office, Director of Space Shuttle and Space Station Freedom Assembly Operations, Chief of the Projects and Facilities Branch of the Flight Design and Dynamics Division, Shuttle/Mir Program Operations Manager, and International Space Station Office Program Manager. Mr. Gerstenmaier earned a Bachelor of Arts in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1977, as well as a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1981 from the University of Toledo.

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, as shown at right, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by the greatly respected Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988. Some of the recent winners of Space Pioneer Awards include Elon Musk, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bigelow, Apollo Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Dr. Michael Griffin, and the Rosetta Mission Team.