Astronaut Danny Olivas, who just recently returned to earth from the STS-117 Space Shuttle mission, made a special trip to White Sands Test Facility August 3, 2007 to surprise six WSTF employees with the coveted "Silver Snoopy" award for their outstanding contributions to the success of human space flight missions. Astronaut Danny Olivas, who just recently returned to earth from the STS-117 Space Shuttle mission, made a special trip to White Sands Test Facility August 3, 2007 to surprise six WSTF employees with the coveted "Silver Snoopy" award for their outstanding contributions to the success of human space flight missions.
NASA's Silver Snoopy award recognizes outstanding individual efforts which contribute to the success and safety of human space flight missions and is received by less than one percent of the nation's space program workforce annually. The award is a sterling silver Astronaut Snoopy lapel pin that has flown on a Space Shuttle mission, plus a certificate of appreciation and commendation letter from the presenting astronaut. In a space helmet and spacesuit, Astronaut Snoopy was drawn by the late Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts® cartoon strip and an avid support of space flight, as a mascot for NASA's manned space flight program. Originating in 1968, the Silver Snoopy award is recognized as the "astronaut's personal award," and is a meaningful link between the astronaut corps and members of NASA and industry work teams.
WSTF Silver Snoopy award winners and their contributions follow:
- Ralph Brown, Safety & Mission Assurance Office, for improving the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) capability at WSTF, serving as the primary EMS Coordinator for Emergency Services, and increasing the emergency medical response capacity to serve WSTF and neighboring site partners.
- Russell Gardner, Hardware Processing Department, for safe and collaborative innovation in design and fabrication work, tooling and sabot research for ice particle impact testing, and development, design and implementation of a coolant-reclamation system with positive impact on WSTF cost and environmental issues.
- Bob Mitchell, RC/Facility Operations Office, for effectively managing the White Sands Space Harbor facility in support of Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) and Space Shuttle missions; successfully integrating flight training and Shuttle mission activities within the White Sands community; and performing Return-to-Flight exercises in preparation for STS-114.
- Richard Murphy, Hardware Processing Department, for outstanding work in depot repair processing, failure analysis, and investigation, acceptance testing on Orbital Maneuvering Subsystem/Reaction Control System (OMS/RCS) and International Space Station (ISS) components, and vendor certification leading to the application of zirconium oxide coating to Primary Reaction Control System (PRCS) thruster rivet bands and repair of chips on the PRCS thruster chamber coatings.
- Rene Rodriguez, Safety & Mission Assurance Office, for assuming additional responsibilities as WSTF's Acting Management System Coordinator, directing internal audit planning and performance, directing corrective and preventive action processes, and leading the site management team in four successful ISO 9001/14001 Periodic Surveillance Audits.
- Lou Rosales, Hardware Processing Department, for providing industrial and scientific imaging support to flight and test projects, high-speed film coverage, detailed still photography, and infrared image acquisition that provided NASA with vital data for ensuring safety and mission success.