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April 22, 2010

Rebecca Strecker, NASA News Chief
NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-3249

Stennis Recognizes STS-131 Space Flight Awareness Honorees

Employees of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., and the Defense Contract Management Agency recently were honored by NASA's Space Flight Awareness program for their dedication to quality work and flight safety.

Stennis honorees recognized for their contributions to the nation's space program were: Jeff Henderson, Scott Olive, Amy Rice and Barry Robinson, all with NASA; Jeffrey Bradshaw, Peter Lamb and Peter Taggard, all with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne; Theresa Spears with Applied Geo Technologies; James Fleming Jr. and Kenneth Hawkins, both with the Jacobs Technology Facility Operating Services Contract Group; James Cain and Charles "Barney" Nokes, both with the Jacobs Technology NASA Test Operations Group; and Deanna Dartez with SaiTech Inc.

Others included Walter Kondracki and Mark Mangelsdorf, both with NASA at Dryden Flight Research Center; Velencia Ducre with the Defense Contract Management Agency at the Michoud Assembly Facility; and Brett Merkley with the Defense Contract Management Agency at ATK Launch Systems in Utah.

Fourteen of the award recipients traveled to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to tour the center and witness the April 5 launch of space shuttle Discovery on the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. The other three recipients were unable to attend those activities.

NASA's Space Flight Awareness Program recognizes outstanding job performances and contributions by civil service and contract employees throughout the year and focuses on excellence in quality and safety in support of human space flight. The Honoree Award is one of the highest honors presented to employees for their dedication to quality work and flight safety. Recipients must have contributed beyond their normal work requirements toward achieving a particular human space flight program goal; contributed to a major cost savings; been instrumental in developing material that increases reliability, efficiency or performance; assisted in operational improvements; or been a key player in developing a beneficial process improvement.

Built in the 1960s to test the huge engines for the Saturn V moon rockets, Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County, Miss., is America's largest rocket engine test complex. Every space shuttle main engine has been test-fired and proven flight-worthy at Stennis since 1975. As part of NASA's new Constellation Program, the center is constructing a new test stand to prove the rocket engines that will be used to transport astronauts to the International Space Station after the space shuttle retires and to explore destinations beyond low-Earth orbit.

For information about Stennis Space Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/.

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