Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel
The Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel is responsible for reviewing all submitted Stellar Award citations and selecting the winners. Stellar Award winners are selected based on which accomplishments hold the greatest promise for furthering future activities in space, the extent to which the nominee played a key role in the accomplishment, and the extent to which the nominee meets the goal of recognizing "unsung heroes." In addition, nominees in the early career category are evaluated based on the extent to which the nominee's past accomplishments demonstrates the potential for future contributions. The RNASA Foundation greatly appreciates the dedication and service of the distinguished individuals who have served on the Stellar Evaluation Panels.
2013 PanelDr. Christopher C. Kraft is a founding member of the RNASA Board of Advisors, and he has led the RNASA Stellar Award Evaluation Panel since 1997. Kraft joined NASA's predecessor at Langley Field, Virginia in 1945 and spent fourteen years testing aircraft. When NASA formed in 1958, Kraft was one of the 36 original members of the Space Task Group developing Project Mercury. Kraft was the first flight director and led NASA Flight Operations through Apollo 12. He became the director of what is now Johnson Space Center in 1971, playing a vital role in the success of the final Apollo missions and the first Space Shuttle flights.
Since his retirement in 1982, he has served as a consultant and board member of various Houston companies, as director-at-large of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Board of Visitors at his alma mater, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His book, FLIGHT: My Life In Mission Control, published in 2001, was a New York Times bestseller. Kraft received the 1999 National Space Trophy.
In 2011, Building 30 at JSC was named the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center in his honor.Arnold D. Aldrich is a member of the RNASA Board of Advisors who is serving his fifth year on the Stellar Award Evaluation panel. Aldrich joined the Space Task Group at Langley Field in 1959 following graduation from Northeastern University. He held a number of key flight operations management positions during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. He served as Skylab deputy program manager; Apollo Spacecraft Program Office deputy manager during the Apollo Soyuz Test Project; Orbiter Project manager during development of Space Shuttles Discovery and Atlantis; and Space Shuttle Program manager. Following the Challenger accident, Aldrich was appointed director of the National Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle Program) at NASA Headquarters where he led recovery and return-to-flight efforts. He then served as AA for Aeronautics and Space Technology and, later, AA for Space Systems Development.
In 1994, Aldrich left NASA and joined Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, California. He was vice president, Commercial Space Business Development and then vice president, Strategic Technology Planning. With the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta, he became director of Program Operations at Lockheed Martin's headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. He retired in 2007 and is now an aerospace consultant. Aldrich has received numerous honors including the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.Dr. Glynn S. Lunney is a member of the RNASA Board of Advisors who is serving his tenth year on the Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel. Lunney graduated from the University of Detroit in 1958. He worked at what is now Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio and transferred to Langley in Virginia in 1958. Lunney joined the Space Task Group in 1959 and moved to Houston in 1962. He was a flight director for Gemini and Apollo and head of the Flight Director's Office starting in 1968. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Scranton in 1971. In 1972, Lunney became manager of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, and manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Office starting in 1973.
Lunney served at NASA Headquarters twice during 1976 and later in 1980, first as deputy associate administrator (AA) for Space Flight, and then as acting AA for Space Transportation Operations. In 1981, he returned to Houston to manage the Space Shuttle Program. In 1985, Lunney left NASA and became president of Rockwell's Satellite Systems Division in California. After a tour at Rockwell Space Systems Division, he returned to Houston in 1989 to lead Rockwell's Space Operations Co. that became part of United Space Alliance (USA) in 1995. Lunney was VP and program manager of USA's Space Flight Operations Contract until his retirement in 1999. He was the 2005 National Space Trophy winner.General Kevin P. Chilton is a member of the RNASA Board of Advisors who joined the Stellar Award Evaluation panel in 2013. A graduate of the U. S. Air Force (USAF) Pilot Training and Test Pilot Schools, Chilton holds a BS in engineering science from the USAF Academy and an MS in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. He served operation and test assignments in the RF-4, F-4, and F-15 prior to his selection as an astronaut in 1987. Chilton piloted the maiden flight of Endeavour on STS-49 in 1992, and the Space Radar Laboratory mission, STS-59, in 1994. In 1996, he commanded STS-76, the third docking mission to the Russian Space Station Mir. He served as deputy program manager for the International Space Station until leaving NASA in 1998.
Chilton served on the Air Force Space Command Staff, the Air Staff, the Joint Staff, and commanded the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 8th Air Force, Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike, and Air Force Space Command. From 2007 to 2011, he commanded the U. S. Strategic Command overseeing plans and operations for all U. S. forces conducting strategic deterrence and the Department of Defense's space and cyberspace operations. He retired from the Air Force in 2011 and now serves as a director of Orbital Sciences, Level 3, Anadarko, the Aerospace Corporation, and Schafer Corporation. Chilton received the 2011 National Space Trophy.