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January 3, 2011

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

NASA Space Flight Awareness Program Recognizes Stennis Employees

Seven employees and four teams at John C. Stennis Space Center recently received NASA's Space Flight Awareness Leadership and Team awards for great contributions to American's space program.

NASA Constellation Program Manager Dr. Dale Thomas presented the awards during a Dec. 13 ceremony at Stennis. Individuals honored were: Gary Benton of NASA, J-2X Project manager; David Brannon of NASA, Propulsion Test Integration Group manager; Lonnie Dutreix of NASA, A-3 Project manager; Deborah Norton of NASA, management and program analyst; Richard Rauch of NASA, a general engineer; Robert Ross of NASA, A-3 Project deputy manager; Brian Sproles of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), A-3 Program integrator.

Stennis teams honored were:

  • A-3 Completion Assessment Team, comprised of NASA personnel from across the agency, including Lonnie Dutriex, Deborah Norton, Richard Rauch, Kirk Sharp and Andrew Valente from Stennis. The team was recognized for outstanding work in comprehensively assessing the possible end-state configurations of the A-3 Test Stand being built at Stennis.
  • J-2X Engine Test Stand A-1/A-2 Sea Level Test Facilities Modification Team, comprised of Stennis employees from NASA, PWR, Jacobs Technology NASA Test Operations Group (NTOG), Jacobs Technology Facility Operating Services Contract (FOSC) Group, Patriot Technologies, and the Mississippi Research Consortium/University of Southern Mississippi. The team was recognized for outstanding accomplishments in the design and modification of the A-1 and A-2 test stands, providing a sea-level test capability required for development of the J-2X upper stage engine.
  • J-2X Engine Assembly Team, comprised of PWR employees. The team was recognized for outstanding accomplishment in J-2X assembly preparations in support of the upper stage engine development test plan.
  • J-2X Engine Test Stand Altitude Facility Construction Team, comprised of employees from NASA, Jacobs NTOG, Jacobs FOSC, PWR and Patriot Technologies. The team was recognized for outstanding accomplishment in the design and construction of the A-3 Test Stand at Stennis, providing a simulated high altitude test capability required for development of the J-2X upper stage engine.

The J-2X is being developed as a next-generation upper stage rocket engine to carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit into deep space once more. Stennis is modifying the A-1 and A-2 stands for testing the engine and its components and is building the A-3 stand to perform simulated high altitude testing of the engine.

NASA's Space Flight Awareness Program recognizes outstanding job performances and contributions by civil service and contract employees throughout the year. The Leadership Award honors leaders who exemplify key characteristics necessary for flight safety and mission success, including accountability, excellence, honesty and integrity.

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. Since 1975, every main engine used in the Space Shuttle Program has been test-fired and proven flight-worthy at Stennis. The center also is building a new stand to test-fire the next generation of rocket engines needed to carry astronauts to explore destinations beyond low-Earth orbit.

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


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