2017 PRESS/PHOTO INFORMATION

Press Release

Rotary Space Awards Gala Honors Heroes of the Space Program

Rotary National Award for Space Achievement
March 30, 2017
Media Contact: Lindsey Cousins, 281-723-5683, lindsey@baysidegraphics.net

The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation will recognize people in the space industry at their annual space awardsgala on Friday, April 28, 2017, at the Houston Hyatt Regency.

The RNASA Foundation was formed by the Space Center Rotary Club in 1985, to publicly recognize the heroes of America's space program. This year, the RNASA Foundation will present the 2017 National Space Trophy, to Dr. John Grunsfeld, NASA Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate.

Former NASA Administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin, will present the prestigious award to Dr. Grunsfeld, who was nominated by Dr. Matt Mountain, President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. The National Space Trophy honoree is selected each year by the RNASA Foundation's Board of Advisors. This board represents a Who's Who of government and corporate aerospace leaders, including former Trophy and Space Communicator Award recipients.

The 2017 Space Communicator Award will be presented to Johnson Space Center Public Affairs Office (PAO) Mission Commentator, Rob Navias. RNASA Advisor and Griffin Communications Group President Jeffrey Carr will present the award to Navias.

Miles O'Brien will serve as Emcee and Gemini/Apollo Astronaut Lt. Gen. Thomas Stafford, USAF (Ret.), will present an OMEGA watch to Grunsfeld at the closing of the program.

In addition to the National Space Trophy, and Space Communicator Award, stellar awards will be presented to people in early career, mid career, late career, and team categories. RNASA Chairman Rodolfo González said, "We received an impressive 149 stellar nominations this year, 38 government and 111 corporate." The nominations came from a.i. solutions, Inc., Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blue Origin, The Boeing Company, CACI, Jacobs, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Headquarters, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA Kennedy Space Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Oceaneering Space Systems, Orbital ATK, SAIC, Schafer Corporation, SpaceX, Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc., United States Air Force, USAF Air Force Research Laboratory, and UTC Aerospace Systems.

Of all the nominations, only a few Stellar awards are given, and are announced the evening of the banquet. The winners will receive engraved marble trophies generously sponsored by Orbital ATK. The trophies will be presented by NASA Astronauts Dr. Kjell Lindgren and Dr. Kathleen Rubins.

The RNASA Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel ranks the nominations received from industry and government in all categories, based on whose accomplishments hold the greatest promise for furthering activities in space and the extent to which the nominee meets the goal of recognizing "unsung heroes". The 2017 Stellar judges are Dr. Glynn S. Lunney, Arnold D. Aldrich, Colonel Eileen Collins, USAF (Ret.), and Michael L. Coats.

The Stellar Award nominees and team representatives will enjoy a behind-the- scenes tour of the Johnson Space Center and a luncheon where all are recognized with framed certificates and a Fisher Space Pen donated by the company. The Fisher Space Pen was originally carried by the astronauts of 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. The keynote speaker at the luncheon will be Colonel Jeffrey Williams.

The Stellar Awards Committee Chairman Jennifer Devolites, RNASA Foundation Chairman Rodolfo González, RNASA Committee member Duane Ross, and Space Center Rotary Club President Darryl Smith will also address the nominees at the Stellar Awards luncheon.

The reception begins at 6 p.m., and the program starts at 7 p.m with a welcome by RNASA Chairman Rodolfo González. Following will be a presentation of the colors by Clear Brook High School Army JROTC, accompanied with the national anthem sung by Members of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Girls Chorus. Rev. Madella Williams, Senior Pastor, Taylor Lake Christian Church, will do the invocation. After dinner, the awards ceremony will kick off with a multimedia show summarizing the year's space events produced by Space City Films.

The RNASA Foundation invites members of the public and the aerospace community to attend the black-tie event. Individual tickets are $300, and corporate tables range from $2,000 to $5,000. Please use http://www.rnasa.org/tables.html to reserve your table for the RNASA Banquet, and for information about sponsorships and tickets. To reserve a hotel room, please use http://www.rnasa.org/houston.html at the Houston Hyatt Regency.

About RNASA: The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation was founded by the Space Center Rotary Club of Houston, Texas 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. The nonprofit Foundation presents the National Space Trophy and Stellar Awards each year.

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Rob Navias to receive RNASA's 2017 Space Communicator Award

Rotary National Award for Space Achievement
February 6, 2017
Media Contact: Lindsey Cousins, 281-723-5683, lindsey@baysidegraphics.net

Rob Navias, Space Communicator Award Recipient
Rob Navias, Space Communicator Award Recipient
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The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation has selected Rob Navias, Johnson Space Center Public Affairs Office (PAO) Mission Commentator and lead for the Program and Television Operations, to receive the prestigious 2017 Space Communicator Award.

Long known as the iconic voice of Mission Control, Navias covered every shuttle mission from the maiden launch of Columbia in April 1981 to Atlantis' final voyage in July 2011, either as a member of the news media or as a NASA employee.

Colonel Chris Hadfield, former Canadian Space Agency Astronaut, who nominated Navias said, "Rob IS the voice of NASA - authoritative, prepared, distinctive, calm and stylish. He has brought space flight to the world for over 25 years."

Navias started as a network broadcast radio correspondent in 1972 based in San Francisco with the Associated Press Radio Network. It was there that he got his first taste of the space beat when he reported on the voyage of Pioneer 11, a robotic space probe that studied the asteroid belt and the rings of Saturn. In 1977, he covered the test flights for the space shuttle Enterprise at Edwards Air Force Base in California. While in San Francisco with AP, Navias also covered such stories as the Patricia Hearst kidnapping and trial from 1974-1976, and the People's Temple mass suicides in Guyana and the City Hall assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978, as well as the Voyager missions from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

He moved on to the United Press International (UPI) Radio Network in 1982 where he served as a Capitol Hill correspondent in Washington D.C. while continuing to cover all space shuttle missions at the Kennedy Space Center. Over the next ten years with UPI he crisscrossed the country to cover high profile stories such as the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and Hurricane Andrew in Miami. Navias was at the Kennedy Space Center on the air when the Challenger tragically exploded 73 seconds after liftoff in 1986. He concluded his media career in 1992 as a correspondent for the CBS Radio Network based in Miami, all the while continuing his coverage of NASA and the space shuttle program.

His career with NASA began in 1993. He was recruited to work in the Office of Public Affairs at the Johnson Space Center where he not only managed the flow of information via radio and TV but he did so with unmatched clarity.

In addition to coverage of the space shuttle, Navias has been the lead for Public Affairs operations involving Russian launch and landing operations of U.S. astronauts and international partner crewmembers for the past two decades. Having spent considerable time in Moscow and in Kazakhstan, Navias has been to the launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan for Soyuz and other International Space Station element launches and preparatory meetings over a hundred times and has ridden Russian military helicopters to Soyuz landing sites in Kazakhstan dozens of times to recover space station crewmembers.

Hadfield wrote, "Rob has spent countless hours studying and preparing for dozens of shuttle launches, landings, space walks, and in flight interviews so he can then properly report to his listeners. His iconic voice has offered informed, well-researched facts for decades. Known for his eloquent style, Navias was often the lead commentator for shuttle missions but it was Atlantis' final mission in 2011 that was particularly poignant. Upon Atlantis' landing Navias said: "having fired the imagination of a generation, a ship like no other, its place in history secured, the Space Shuttle pulls into port for the last time - its voyage at an end."

When asked to reflect on his career and what spurred his interest in space, Navias recounts receiving a transistor radio from his father in in 1961. Using that radio, he listened intently when Yuri Gagarin was the first person to be launched into space and again when Alan Shepard flew aboard Freedom 7. The space program had hooked another young American!

Navias said of his award, "This is an enormous honor, not only to be nominated by those who forged a part of the history of human spaceflight, but to represent a communications industry whose solemn obligation is to report the news, educate the media and the public and to share the wonderment of humankind's most incredible journey."

The RNASA Space Communicator Award was created in 1997 in honor of KTRK, Houston Channel 13 space reporter and long-time RNASA Advisor Stephen Gauvain who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1996. The award is presented to an individual or team that makes exceptional contributions to public understanding and appreciation of space exploration The previous recipients of the award are: William Harwood of CBS; Miles O'Brien, formerly of CNN; Elliot Pulham of the Space Foundation; the NASA-Contractor Communications team that responded to the Columbia accident; Mark Carreau, formerly of the Houston Chronicle; Neil deGrasse Tyson of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Veronica McGregor, Manager of News and Social Media at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, former Canadian Space Agency astronaut, author, and musician Chris A. Hadfield, and Bill Nye (the science guy) CEO of the Planetary Society.

Navias will be honored with the 2017 Space Communicator Award at RNASA's 31st annual National Space Trophy Banquet on April 28, 2017, at the Houston Hyatt Regency. Dr. John M. Grunsfeld, former Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C., will receive the 2017 National Space Trophy.

The RNASA Foundation invites members of the public and the aerospace community to attend the black-tie event on April 28, 2017, at the Houston Hyatt Regency. Please visit http://www.rnasa.org/tables.html to reserve your table for the RNASA Banquet and find information about sponsorships and tickets. To reserve a room at the Houston Hyatt Regency, please visit http://www.rnasa.org/houston.html or call 713-654-1234 and request the RNASA group rate. The RNASA website is http://www.rnasa.org/.

About RNASA: The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation was founded by the Space Center Rotary Club of Houston, Texas 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. The nonprofit Foundation presents the National Space Trophy and Stellar Awards each year.

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Press Release

Dr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, to receive the 2017 National Space Trophy

Rotary National Award for Space Achievement
January 23, 2017
Media Contact: Lindsey Cousins, 281-723-5683, lindsey@baysidegraphics.net

Dr. John M. Grunsfeld, National Space Trophy Recipient
Dr. John M. Grunsfeld, National Space Trophy Recipient
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The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation has selected Dr. John M. Grunsfeld, NASA astronaut on STS-67, STS-81, STS-103, STS-109, and STS-125, and former Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C., to receive the 2017 National Space Trophy. The banquet honoring Dr. Grunsfeld will be held on April 28, 2017, at the Houston Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas.

Rodolfo González, President of the RNASA Foundation said, "The RNASA Board of Advisors made an excellent pick for the 2017 National Space Trophy and the RNASA Foundation looks forward to recognizing Dr. Grunsfeld as the guest of honor at the RNASA Space Award Gala."

Dr. Grunsfeld was nominated for the award by Dr. Matt Mountain, President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. Dr. Mountain remarked, "One of Grunsfeld's unique strengths is his ability to demonstrate the relevance and excitement of spaceflight by bringing together the scientific community, NASA's international partners, Congress, the Administration, with NASA's Science, Human Spaceflight, Technology and Aeronautics programs. His unique experience as an astronaut, a teacher, scientist, and senior leader at NASA has enabled him to make unique contributions to all of NASA's activities."

Grunsfeld said, "I am honored and humbled to be awarded this distinguished recognition for my contributions to science and space exploration. The quest to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and to extend human presence beyond planet Earth has propelled me for most of my life, in part inspired by previous trophy winners. I have been successful only as a member of the extraordinary teams with whom I've shared this journey of discovery, and I regard this honor as a team award."

Dr. Grunsfeld earned his bachelor of science degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. He went on to earn a master of science degree in 1984 and a doctor of philosophy degree in physics in 1988 from the University of Chicago. After serving as a Senior Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 1989-1992, he was selected by NASA to join the astronaut training program in March of 1992.

Dr. Grunsfeld's first flight was aboard STS-67 in March 1995. He and the crew were tasked with conducting round-the-clock observations of the ultraviolet universe using three telescopes in the payload bay.

Grunsfeld served as flight engineer during his second flight on STS-81 which docked with Russia's space station Mir and exchanged U.S. astronauts living aboard the International Space Station. It was during this mission that John had a little fun with Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of Car Talk, NPR's call in radio show. During his flight home aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, John called in and described some trouble he was experiencing with his "government vehicle" explaining that it had excellent acceleration but runs extremely rough for 2 minutes, quieter for six and a half, at which point the engine stalls. The hosts didn't take long to figure out that the caller was John Grunsfeld.

Grunsfeld flew on three more shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope. The first was on STS-103 in December 1999 in which he performed two space walks. Upon his return home from this successful mission, John was asked to lead the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Branch and led the development spacewalk training courses for astronauts that are still used today.

STS-109 came next in March 2002 where John served as Payload Commander. It was after this mission that he spent time serving as NASA's chief scientist in Washington D.C. helping develop President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration following the tragic loss of Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003. His final mission was aboard STS-125 in May of 2009. This time, he served as the lead spacewalker on a mission to perform a major renovation on Hubble which had been in orbit for 19 years. All told, Grunsfeld has logged five missions, eight space walks, and 58 days in space. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2015.

Affectionately known as the "Hubble Repairman", John's contributions have extended well beyond his missions to space. In 2010, John left NASA to take on a role as Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. It was here that Dr. Grunsfeld helped prepare the institute for their joint efforts with NASA to develop the James Webb Telescope which will be launched in 2018.

After returning to NASA in 2012 as Associate Administrator for Science, Grunsfeld managed more than 100 missions including the Curiosity Mars rover landing, the new Horizons Pluto flyby and the Deep Space Climate Observatory. These and dozens of other projects have laid the foundation to understand how our own planet is changing while inspiring a whole new generation of explorers.

Beyond space, Dr. Grunsfeld enjoys mountaineering. In 2000 he appeared on the PBS NOVA show "Deadly Ascent" when he climbed Denali, the highest peak in North America. He and companion, Dr. Howard Donner were researching the effects of body temperature at high altitudes. He was forced to turn back at 17,200 feet but later led a NASA team to the top of Denali in 2004. John also enjoys flying, sailing, bicycling, and music. He is married and has two children.

The RNASA Foundation invites members of the public and the aerospace community to attend the black-tie event on April 28, 2017, at the Houston Hyatt Regency, where Dr. John Grunsfeld will be recognized with the National Space Trophy. This year will be RNASA's 31st annual National Space Trophy Banquet. Please visit http://www.rnasa.org/tables.html to reserve your table for the RNASA Banquet and find information about sponsorships and tickets. To reserve a room at the Houston Hyatt Regency, please visit http://www.rnasa.org/houston.html or call 713-654-1234 and request the RNASA group rate.

About RNASA: The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation was founded by the Space Center Rotary Club of Houston, Texas, 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. The nonprofit Foundation presents the National Space Trophy and Stellar Awards each year. The RNASA website is http://www.rnasa.org/.

Read the press release as a Word document.

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