Public Release: 

Top awards to be presented at AIAA Space 2007 Conference

Burt Rutan to be recognized as engineer of the year

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

August 30, 2007 - Reston, Virginia - The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will present five awards for key contributions to space science and technology during the AIAA SPACE 2007 Conference & Exposition to be held Sept. 18 - 20 at Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.

Burt Rutan, president and CEO of Scaled Composites in Mojave, California, will be recognized as the AIAA Engineer of the Year. The award is presented to a member of AIAA who has made a recent (within the past two years) individual contribution in the application of scientific and mathematical principles leading to a significant accomplishment or event worthy of AIAA's national or international recognition. Rutan was selected for bold innovations and concepts that have provided a low-cost approach for access to space and won the civilian space race with SpaceShipOne.

Antal Bejczy, former technical manager at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will be recognized with the Space Automation and Robotics Award. The award is presented for leadership and technical contributions by individuals and teams in the field of space automation and robotics. Bejzy was selected for establishing the foundation of robotics for space applications and pioneering the development of key enabling techniques to overcome the special challenges of communication delay, operation feedback and unstructured environment.

NASA's Thermal Protection System Tile Repair and Reinforced Carbon-Carbon Repair Teams, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, will be recognized with the AIAA Space Operations and Support Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the architecture, analysis, design and implementation of space systems. All members of the teams are being collectively recognized for outstanding efforts in development and delivery of TPS repair hardware and techniques providing emergency repair capability of shuttle tile and wing leading edge systems. The award will be accepted by Frank Lin and Brian Mayeaux, project managers.

The XSS-11 Team from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, Colorado, and Lockheed Martin Corporation, Denver, Colorado, will be recognized with the AIAA Space Systems Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the architecture, analysis, design and implementation of space systems. All members of the government-led, multi-contractor XSS-11 Team are being collectively recognized for the successful design, development, integration and on-orbit tests of numerous first-time technologies and mission operations techniques supporting critical USAF missions. The award will be accepted by H Vernon Baker, AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate and XSS-11 program manager.

Glen Fountain, program manager, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, will be recognized with the AIAA von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management. The award is presented for outstanding contributions in the management of a significant space or space-related program or project. Fountain was selected for 40 years of outstanding contributions to space flight missions to advance the fundamental understanding of the earth's environment and solar system.

The awards will be presented at the AIAA SPACE 2007 Conference Award Luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2007. Each honoree will receive an engraved medal, a certificate of citation, and a rosette pin.

AIAA SPACE 2007 is co-chaired by The Boeing Company, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the U. S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, and supported by The Aerospace Corporation, Raytheon, Space Florida, Stellar Solutions, Inc., Cimarron/DKI, and California Space Authority. Space News is the official conference media sponsor.

AIAA's premier annual space conference, AIAA SPACE 2007 serves as a venue for senior government and industry leaders and technologists. Under the theme, "Space: The Next 50 Years," the three-day event will highlight the numerous advances in space technologies and applications over the past half-century, focus on the next 50 years of space exploration, and further refine the vision NASA has started to implement. Leaders from government, industry, and academia will convene to share ideas and offer their perspectives on the political, economic and social issues that must be addressed to take space utlization to the next level.

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More information is available at www.aiaa.org/space2007. Media please contact Sharon Grace, sharong@aiaa.org, 703/264-7532, to register.

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