During NASA's 50th Anniversary Celebration at the White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) on February 7, 2009, astronauts and management presented six employees with the prestigious Silver Snoopy award. The Silver Snoopy is given by NASA's Astronaut Office for outstanding performance to those who have significantly contributed to the space agency's goals for human exploration and development of space. The Silver Snoopy is awarded to less than one percent of the NASA workforce each year.
The Silver Snoopy is a small silver lapel pin, which is flown on a shuttle mission. Charles Schulz's Snoopy was a "flier", and NASA thought he could be an astronaut too. Schulz liked the idea of a "moonlighting" Snoopy and created one. Snoopy became an important member of the NASA Team, and soon went to the Moon. Snoopy has become the astronauts' personal symbol of safety excellence.
Michael Coats brought six pins that had flown with him on March 29, 1989 aboard the STS-29 when he was Spaceflight Commander. Coats, now Johnson Space Center's Director, awarded the pins to Dr. Steven Hornung, Robert Harris, Jimmy Lujan, Clifford Madrid, David Martinez, and Steven Torres.
Dr. Steven Hornung has worked at WSTF for 19 years and was recognized for his expertise in design, development, and qualification of the gold salt pads, the development of the Drager Tube Encapsulation Device, and numerous other Shuttle and International Space Station test programs performed at WSTF.
Robert Harris has worked at WSTF for 14 years and was recognized for his exemplary support in the calibration of devices used to collect test data for qualifying Shuttle and International Space Station propulsion systems and for special tests, including numerous return-to-flight activities as well as his work on the UHF at the White Sands Space Harbor.
Jimmy Lujan has worked at WSTF for 19 years and was recognized for his dedication to the Logistics Section at WSTF. He is a devoted Logistics Analyst and Property Manager and has been a Logistics Supervisor during his tenure. He has successfully implemented operational changes resulting in increased efficiency and performance of the entire logistics process.
Clifford Madrid has worked at WSTF for 23 years and was commended for his outstanding dedication and commitment as Technical Services Manager. He repeatedly demonstrated his technical excellence, commitment to safety, and high standards of quality workmanship that supported WSTF's mission to be the preeminent resource for testing and evaluating hazardous materials, space flight components, and rocket propulsion systems.
David Martinez has worked at WSTF for 32 years and was recognized for his untiring efforts and superior dedication to ensure that critical lifts are properly planned, directed, and executed at WSTF. His most notable critical lift operation was when the Space Shuttle Columbia landed at the White Sands Space Harbor in 1982.
Steven Torres has worked at WSTF for 3 years and was recognized for his outstanding work on the Qualification and Fleet Leader Improved Auxiliary Power Unit programs and his contribution to the overall success of the WSTF and the Space Shuttle Program.