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Amber Marek
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

RELEASE : 08-05
KSC Employee Earns Award for Return To Flight Accomplishments
Kennedy Space Center employee Joel Wells Jr. of Mims, Fla., recently earned NASA's prestigious Space Flight Awareness Award for his support of Space Shuttle Return to Flight efforts.

A NASA legislative liaison since 2002, Wells is the primary interface to the Florida governor's office and state legislature. His main objectives are to inform and educate state and national leaders on NASA's vision and mission initiatives, and support the development of pro-space policy by the legislature.

"I'm honored to be recognized for contributing to America's human space flight program, but more than that, I feel privileged to be a part of the NASA family here at Kennedy Space Center. The cause and the people are truly special," he said.

"I look forward to managing the important relationships we currently enjoy with federal, state and local leaders and building more partnerships that will enable America's Vision for Space Exploration."

Since joining Kennedy in 1991, he served as a media spokesman and as a procurement analyst. As the media spokesman for the Space Shuttle and Reusable Launch Vehicle programs, he promoted NASA's goals and achievements to an international audience. His procurement efforts helped KSC surpass its annual small business contract goals.

His hard work was recognized in 1995 when he was nominated for NASA's Exceptional Achievement Award and he also has earned numerous performance and team awards.

Wells was born in Gainesville, Fla., and raised in Brevard County. He attended Titusville High School and graduated from Bethel Christian Academy in 1988. Wells pursued higher education at Brevard Community College and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He earned a bachelor's degree in communications in 1993.

Additionally, he leads his community by serving as assistant pastor at First Pentecostal Church of Titusville. Wells and his wife, the former Christie Marie Lampard, have a toddler son, Jace Logan. Christie, of Miami, previously taught elementary school and is now dedicated to raising their son. His parents, Joel and Maria Wells, reside in Titusville.

NASA established the Space Flight Awareness Motivation and Recognition Program after the Mercury and Gemini period to infuse the space program with a renewed and strengthened consciousness of quality and flight safety. Employees are honored for their dedication to quality work and flight safety.

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