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 heroes of the American space program. 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.
2016-2017 PanelDr. Glynn S. Lunney is a member of the RNASA Board of Advisors who is serving his fourteenth 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.Arnold D. Aldrich is a member of the RNASA Board of Advisors who is serving his ninth 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.Colonel Eileen Collins, USAF (Ret.) and former NASA astronaut, STS-63, STS-84, STS-93, and STS-114, is a member of the RNASA Board of Advisors who is serving her second year on the Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel. She was the recipient of the 2006 National Space Trophy and she received the award as NASA's first female Space Shuttle Pilot and Commander.
Collins earned her associate's degree in math/science from Corning Community College in 1976, her BA in math and economics from Syracuse University in 1978, a Master of Science degree in operations research from Stanford University in 1986, and a Master of Arts degree in space systems management from Webster University in 1989.
She was a T-38 instructor pilot at Vance AFB in Oklahoma, and a C-141 commander and instructor at Travis AFB in California. From 1986 to 1989, Collins taught math at the USAF Academy in Colorado and was a T-41 instructor. She graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB in 1990 before her selection that year as a pilot astronaut. Collins first flight was the first for a woman pilot.
Collins flew on STS-63 Discovery from February 3-11, 1995, STS-84 Atlantis from May 15-24, 1997, STS-93 Columbia from July 23-27, 1999, which was the first Shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman, and STS-114 Discovery from July 26 to August 9, 2005.
Her special honors include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury, October 1983), French Legion of Honor, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Space Flight Medals, Free Spirit Award, and the 2006 National Space Trophy.Michael L. Coats is a member of the RNASA Board of Advisors who is serving on the Stellar Award Evaluation panel for the first time. Coats earned his BS degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. His highly decorated career in the Navy included 315 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He holds a master's degree in administration of science and technology (George Washington University, 1977) and in aeronautical engineering (U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, 1979). Selected as a NASA astronaut in 1978, Coats first flew as pilot of STS 41D in 1984. He commanded STS-29 and STS-39 in 1989 and 1991, respectively. He served as acting chief of the Astronaut Office from 1989 to his departure from NASA in 1991. He was vice president of Avionics and Communications Operations for Loral Space Information Systems, vice president of Civil Space Programs for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, and vice president of Advanced Space Transportation for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. He returned to NASA in 2005 as the director for JSC.
Coats received the 2012 National Space Trophy for his management as the tenth director of Johnson Space Center and his leadership to the retiring Space Shuttle program, the International Space Station program, and his advancement of the capability for human exploration and utilization of space research development.