CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. -- The NASA Johnson Spaceflight Center Group Achievement Award was presented by Astronaut Jeff Ashby (far right) to the Human Spaceflight Support Team for its exceptional support in keeping the space shuttle, International Space Station and its crews safe from the dangers of orbital debris, spacecraft collisions and other inherent hazards of orbit operations. Back row from left to right: William L. Howorth, Bill Schick, G. Taft Devere, Gerald Gill and Tom Miller. Front row from left to right: Stacy Petruna, Dave Ward, Lawrence Wilson and Robin Thurston. (U.S. Air Force photo)
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. -- NASA Astronaut Jeff Ashby presents the Silver Snoopy Award to Dave Ward, 1st Space Control Squadron space protection officer, at Cheyenne Mountain July 30. The award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of manned spaceflight missions and whose job performance is oriented to flight safety or mission success. (U.S. Air Force photo)
by Trisha Schmalz
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs
8/6/2007 - CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. -- NASA awarded two of its most prestigious awards to members of the 1st Space Control Squadron during a Commander's Call at Cheyenne Mountain July 30.
The NASA Johnson Spaceflight Center Group Achievement Award was presented to the Cheyenne Mountain Human Spaceflight Support Team, and the Silver Snoopy Award was presented to Dave Ward, the 1st SPCS protection officer.
Former Astronaut Jeffrey Ashby, the NASA liaison to Air Force Space Command, was on hand to present both awards.
The JSC Group Achievement Award is tied to performance and is a fairly exclusive award, said Mr. Ashby.
The citation for the Human Spaceflight Support Team highlights the team for its exceptional support in keeping the space shuttle, International Space Station and its crews safe from the dangers of orbital debris, spacecraft collisions and other inherent hazards of orbit operations.
"When groups of people supporting human spaceflight perform at an exceptional level for either a given event or over a period of time, we like to recognize them with this group achievement award," said Mr. Ashby. "It's a fairly high award. Each individual receives recognition, as well as the group."
The Silver Snoopy Award is the NASA astronaut's personal award and can only be presented by a NASA astronaut.
The award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of manned spaceflight missions and whose job performance is oriented to flight safety or mission success.
"The position that I hold within the 1st Space Control Squadron is that of the space protection officer," said Mr. Ward. "I manage the Space Protection and Conjunction Assessment programs that ensure the safe operations of active satellites in space. And one of the most important parts of that mission is ensuring the orbital safety of NASA astronauts and human spacecraft."
Mr. Ward explained that the support includes: identifying potential conjunctions between the International Space Station or Space Transportation Systems and the other 11,000-plus objects in the satellite catalog; preventing radar impingement on space walking astronauts; and providing tracking information for objects that are deployed from either the ISS or STS.
"The Silver Snoopy presented to Mr. Ward is a silver lapel pin of Charles Schultz's Snoopy comic strip character wearing an astronaut helmet," said Lt. Col. Mike Mason, 1st SPCS commander. The pin presented to Mr. Ward flew to space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis in October 2002, which was commanded by Mr. Ashby.
"I was very surprised and am extremely honored to be awarded with a Silver Snoopy," Mr. Ward said. "Not only is it a special award, but it was even more special to have it presented to me by Jeff Ashby, a NASA astronaut whom I know and greatly respect."
The recognition of the Human Spaceflight Support Team and Mr. Ward by NASA is significant.
"NASA's recognition is a major accomplishment for not only the members of our Human Spaceflight Safety Team, but also for the rest of the squadron that directly contributes to this support day in and day out," said Colonel Mason. "As we look forward to the scheduled launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour in August, this recognition serves as a tangible reminder of the importance of our mission and doing our jobs right each and every time."
JSC Group Achievement Award Recipients -- Cheyenne Mountain Human Space Flight Support Team: