2017 Stellar Awards Winners

The 2017 RNASA Stellar Award winners in each of four categories were announced at the banquet on April 28, 2017 at the Houston Hyatt Regency hotel.

The 149 nominations were evaluated by former National Associate Administrator for Space Systems Development, Arnold D. Aldrich, and former National Space Trophy winners, Dr. Glynn S. Lunney, Col. Eileen Collins, USAF (Ret.), and Capt. Michael L. Coats, USN (Ret.).

A list of all the Stellar Awards nominees was printed in the 2017 program book.

The 2017 Stellar Awards were presented by Astronauts Kjell N. Lindgren, M.D. and Kathleen Rubins, Ph.D..

2017 Early Career Stellar Award Winners

Seven awards were presented in the 2017 Early Career Category.

2017 Early Career Stellar Award Winners
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L to R: Kjell Lindgren (presenting), Christopher Eby, Sarah L. Wallace, Peter Masi, Russell Vela, Joey Edgar, Chelsea Shepherd, Jason Shapiro, Kate Rubins (presenting) (NASA photo, 2017)

Chelsea Shepherd of SGT - Outstanding dedication, leadership, and support to assembly and maintenance operations for the ISS.

Joey Edgar of Oceaneering Space Systems - Outstanding technical knowledge, unwavering attention to detail and exemplary work ethic in contributing to the development of extravehicular activity spaceflight hardware.

Russell Vela of U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory - Exceptional technical expertise in solving significant radar engineering challenges to support space vehicle design and major ground based radio telescope upgrades.

Peter Masi of Jacobs - Exceptional contributions which enable our continuous presence in low earth orbit aboard the ISS and are shaping our capability to extend human exploration to Mars and beyond.

Sarah L. Wallace of NASA Johnson Space Center - championing of a game-changing biomolecule sequencer that was successfully demonstrated as a scientific tool on the ISS.

Christopher Eby of SpaceX - Outstanding technical contributions and leadership overseeing the Commercial Crew space suit qualification milestone.

Jason Shapiro of Aerojet Rocketdyne - Outstanding leadership in testing of large rockets from the Antares AJ-26 to the Orion jettison motor.

2017 Middle Career Stellar Award Winners

Nine awards were presented in the 2017 Middle Career Category.

2017 Middle Career Stellar Award Winners
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L to R: Kate Rubins (presenting), Robert A. Mase, Kenneth Utley, Richard R. Beckman, Charles V. Seal III, Kenneth J. Anderle, Jeffrey C. Bemis, Ronald K. Baccus, Carolyn Overmyer, Gary Lai, Kjell Lindgren (presenting) (NASA photo, 2017)

Kenneth J. Anderle of Jacobs - Exemplary service to JSC and the James Webb Space Telescope in promoting the advancement of space exploration.

Richard R. Beckman of the United States Air Force - Exceptional program management and technical and programmatic problem solving leading to numerous successful classified military operations and GPS capabilities for a billion users worldwide.

Kenneth Utley of The Boeing Company - Sustained superior performance in electrical wiring design and wiring installation for human spaceflight applications.

Jeffrey C. Bemis of Orbital ATK - Outstanding leadership of the Orion Launch Abort Attitude Control Motor in reconstituting the team and guiding it though a successful critical design review.

Robert A. Mase of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Outstanding management of exceptionally successful projects exploring the solar system.

Carolyn Overmyer of Lockheed Martin - Technical excellence in managing the design and development of the Orion service module.

Charles V. Seal III of Aerojet Rocketdyne - Invaluable contributions towards the 100% mission success of the Delta IV vehicle and RS-68 rocket engine through leadership, mentorship, technical excellence, and innovation.

Ronald K. Baccus of NASA Johnson Space Center - Outstanding leadership of the Orion heatshield block bond verification effort.

Gary Lai of Blue Origin - Outstanding leadership of the New Shepard technical team, which performed five launches and landings of the same booster in one year.

2017 Late Career Stellar Award Winners

Nine awards were presented in the 2017 Late Career Category.

2017 Late Career Stellar Award Winners
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L to R: Kate Rubins (presenting), Marc D. Rayman, Kamal S. Ghaffarian, Dale Cloud, Jeffrey R. Davis, Michael A. Melgares, John B. Vollmer, Kenneth O. Todd, Mark Ferguson, Scott R. McIntyre, Kjell Lindgren (presenting) (NASA photo, 2017)

Mark Ferguson of Orbital ATK - Exceptional technical and program management of the pressurized cargo module of Cygnus.

Kenneth O. Todd of NASA Johnson Space Center - Exceptional accomplishments in expertly and successfully leading day-to-day ISS operations.

John B. Vollmer of The Boeing Company - Outstanding dedication and leadership on ISS, supporting NASA's mission to explore space and expand scientific research.

Jeffrey R. Davis of NASA Johnson Space Center - Exceptional career innovations and collaborative leadership as Director of NASA's Human Health & Performance Directorate, greatly impacting agency strategic goals.

Michael A. Melgares of Jacobs - Exceptional technical and team leadership during an accomplished career from Apollo to Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Orion.

Dale Cloud of UTC Aerospace Systems - Exceptional technical skill and leadership in engineering for the development of systems and components for both human and unmanned space.

Kamal S. Ghaffarian of Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. - Visionary serial entrepreneur dedicated to creating companies that operate with the highest level of integrity, promote employee well-being, and deliver the best technical solutions to their customers.

Marc D. Rayman of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Extraordinary and uniquely creative work to explore the solar system and open the frontiers of space to even more ambitious missions to follow.

Scott R. McIntyre of The Boeing Company - Exceptional leadership, sustained excellent performance, and dedication to the advancement of human spaceflight programs.

2017 Team Stellar Award Winners

Seven awards were presented in the 2017 Team Category.

2017 Team Stellar Award Winners
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L to R: Kjell Lindgren (presenting), Steven Van Keuren (ISS Oxygen Generator Assembly Recovery Team), Brian Vesey (GPS IIF Team), Robert Rossato (EVA 35 Recovery Team), Jon Edwards (Falcon 9 Team), Marc Rayman (Dawn Flight Team), Steve Hobart (New Shepard Team), Keith Davies (Next Generation Cygnus Design Team), Kate Rubins (presenting) (NASA photo, 2017)

New Shepard Team of Blue Origin - Outstanding accomplishment in performing the first landing of a vertical-launch rocket in history, and then four subsequent launches and landings in 2016. Accepting for the team was Steve Hobart.

Dawn Flight Team of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Outstanding achievement exploring some of the last uncharted worlds in the inner solar system in a unique mission that reveals new insights about the dawn of the solar system. Accepting for the team was Marc Rayman.

Falcon 9 Team of SpaceX - Exceptional history of innovative and high quality spacecraft and launch vehicle designs for NASA, industry, and other government organizations. Accepting for the team was Jon Edwards.

Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) 35 Recovery Team of UTC Aerospace Systems - Outstanding rapid performance to recover EVA capability on ISS after the US EVA 35 water in helmet incident. Accepting for the team was Robert Rossato.

Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF Team of the United States Air Force - Successful acquisition, development, and delivery of 12 GPS space vehicles to orbit, ensuring gold-standard positioning, navigation, and timing capabilities to over 2.7 million military personnel, one billion civilian users, and 57 Allied nations worldwide. Accepting for the team was Lt. Col. Brian Vesey.

ISS Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA) Recovery Team of The Boeing Company - Successful resolution of complex and emerging issues resulting from the Oxygen Generator Assembly recovery that threatened ISS oxygen generation capability and potential ISS de-crew or delayed Soyuz launch due to depleted oxygen supplies. Accepting for the team was Steven Van Keuren.

Next Generation Cygnus Design Team of Orbital ATK - Outstanding technical leadership and teamwork in the design and implementation of the next generation Cygnus Spacecraft, resulting in increased capability, reliability, and science utilization for the ISS. Accepting for the team was Keith Davies.

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