Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, announced that five honorees have accepted awards for their distinguished achievements in the global space ecosystem during the opening ceremonies of the 36th Space Symposium.
Kaci Heins Accepts the 2020 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award (photo below)
Kaci Heins, Space Center University director at Space Center Houston, has accepted the 2020 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. Heins’ selection for this honor was based on her impressive legacy of achievements, which includes her work as Space Center University Director at Space Center Houston in Houston, Texas, where she currently develops innovative mission-based content and oversees immersive education programs such as Space Center University, Stars and STEM and more. The award, named for Mercury and Apollo astronaut Alan Shepard, is presented jointly by Space Foundation, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) and NASA, in recognition of creative and innovative use of technology by K-12 educators or district-level education personnel.
The U.S. Space Force Accepts the 2021 Space Achievement Award (General Raymond accepting the award photo below.)
On behalf of the U.S. Space Force, Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, USSF, accepted the 2021 Space Achievement Award. Beginning with a core formed by the former Air Force Space Command, in fewer than 18 months, the U.S. Space Force, the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, developed the doctrine, processes, leadership, organizational structures and operations of the world’s first independent space force. The Space Achievement Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated space achievement, breakthrough space technology, or program/product success representing critical milestones in the evolution of space exploration and development.
Bill Ingalls Accepts the 2021 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award (photo below)
Bill Ingalls has accepted the 2021 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award. As senior contract photographer for NASA headquarters since 1989, Ingalls has captured moments such as Space Shuttle Endeavor’s final landing and the Dante II robot’s exploration of an active volcano. Ingalls’ work has greatly contributed to public knowledge of aeronautics and its impact on humankind. The Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award is presented annually to an organization or individual who has made significant contributions to the public awareness and understanding of space programs and technology. The award was named for an Academy Award-winning writer and producer, space advocate, and early member of the Space Foundation board of directors.
NASA JPL Accepts the 2021 John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration (photo below)
Lt. General Larry D. James, USAF (ret.), Deputy Director of NASA JPL; The Honorable Senator Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator; and Dr. J (Bob) Balaram, Ingenuity Chief Engineer, JPL, have accepted the 2021 John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration on behalf of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Mars Ingenuity Flight Team. The NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has proven itself a milestone in aviation and aeronautics history by performing the first flight of a powered and controlled aircraft on another planet, allowing observation of Mars from an aerial perspective, and enabling the collection of data about conducting flight in a challenging atmosphere. It has since logged 11 additional successful flights of increasing duration, length and distance, surpassing initial expectations. The John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration was created in memory of NASA astronaut Jack Swigert, a Colorado native who served on the Apollo 13 lunar mission. In 1982, Swigert was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives but died of cancer before taking the oath of office. Space Foundation created the Swigert award in 2004 in tribute to his legacy of space exploration.
Family of Patti Grace Smith Accepts the 2021 General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award (photo below)
The family of Patti Grace Smith has accepted the 2021 General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award — the highest honor bestowed by Space Foundation. As a public servant, Ms. Smith was a champion of private space travel whose regulatory work, leadership and advocacy helped open new worlds of opportunity for the exploration and development of space. The General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award is presented annually in honor of Space Foundation’s late, long-time chairman, retired U.S. Air Force General James E. Hill. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through lifetime contributions to the welfare or betterment of humankind through the exploration, development and use of space, or the use of space technology, information, themes or resources in academic, cultural, industrial or other pursuits of broad benefit to humanity.