Apr. 06, 2005
Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, California 93523
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
David E. Steitz/Doc Mirelson
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
NASA DRYDEN'S X-43 TEAM REPRESENTED AT AVIATION WEEK'S LAUREL AWARDS
Two members of the X-43 flight research project team from NASA's
Dryden Flight Research Center were on hand Tuesday evening, April 5,
when the X-43 / Hyper-X project team and several of its major players
were honored by Aviation Week and Space Technology during the
publication's 48th annual Laurel Awards program at the National Air
and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Laurel honorees were nominated by the editors of the aerospace
magazine for "extraordinary individual and team accomplishments in
the global aviation, aerospace and defense industries."
The Laureates Hall of Fame Award in Aeronautics/Propulsion went to
Hyper-X program manager Vincent Rausch and supersonic-combustion
ramjet engine developer Randall Voland, both of NASA's Langley
Research Center, Hampton, Va. The award also cited ATK GASL President
Anthony Castrogiovanni, Tullahoma, Tenn., and the entire X-43 Hyper-X
scramjet team "for their completion of the first two free flights of
an operating scramjet engine integrated with a representative
The two flights from NASA Dryden at Edwards Air Force Base in March
and November 2004 set world speed records for aircraft powered by a
non-rocket, air-breathing engine, the first near Mach 7 (seven times
the speed of sound) and the second at almost Mach 10.
Dryden aerodynamics engineer Laurie Marshall Grindle and controls
engineer Catherine Bahm, who served as chief engineer and deputy
chief engineer respectively for the final X-43A flight, represented
the NASA Dryden X-43 project team at the awards presentation.
Another of NASA's aeronautics efforts, the Synthetic Vision Systems
(SVS) project, was one of five teams honored in the Information
Technology/Electronics category. The project was recognized as "a
government-industry-university research team, for bringing SVS and
enhanced-vision avionics to an impressive level of functionality,
significantly improving aircraft safety during reduced visibility
"We are elated to see the hard work and extraordinary achievement of
our NASA Aeronautics teams and individuals honored in this way. The
X-43A team's accomplishments speak to exciting breakthroughs in
aviation in the future, and the Synthetic Vision project touches the
public right now with increased flight safety," said Dr. J. Victor
Lebacqz, NASA's Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research.
The Laureates Hall of Fame Award in the space category went to a
collaborative team that includes NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL), Pasadena, Calif.; Cornell University, Cornell, N.Y.; the
aerospace industry; and the Mars Exploration Rover mission team "for
its remarkable year investigating the Martian surface with Spirit and
Also recognized in the space category were the International Space
Station's Expedition 9 crew, astronaut Mike Fincke and cosmonaut
Gennady Padalka, as well as the U.S. and Russian ground teams. They
were cited for completing several never-before-accomplished tasks
during their six-month mission on the Station in 2004.
Dr. Charles Elachi, Director of JPL, was recognized for his leadership
of the Mars Exploration Rover program and the Cassini mission team.
Those teams are searching for signs of life on Mars and unveiling the
mysteries of Saturn's moon Titan, respectively.
The JPL and the Lockheed Martin Stardust team were honored for
designing and guiding the Stardust spacecraft to within 140 miles of
the nucleus of the comet Wild 2. Stardust, scheduled to return to
Earth early in 2006, has collected the first comet dust.
The magazine also recognized the accomplishments of NASA's Cassini
spacecraft engineers and scientists. Following Cassini's long journey
to Saturn, the mission team carried out the highly successful June 30
orbit insertion and gathered close-up data.
Several historic NASA figures were also honored with 2004 Laurel
Legend awards. They included Max Faget, the late famed NASA
spacecraft engineer. Also recognized were America's first women
astronauts -- Sally Ride, Kathy Sullivan, Rhea Seddon, Anna Fisher,
Shannon Lucid and the late Judith Resnik. Legend awards are given to
previous Laurel winners or individuals chosen for contributions to
the global field of aerospace over a period of years.