Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington

Jan. 11, 2012
RELEASE : 12-015
NASA Associate Administrator for Human Spaceflight Receives AIAA Von Karman Award
WASHINGTON -- The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has honored Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate with the Von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics.

The award is given annually to someone who has performed notably and distinguished themselves technically in the field of astronautics. Gerstenmaier was recognized for his 30 years of accomplishment in human spaceflight, culminating in the leadership of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs.

As part of the award, Gerstenmaier delivered the speech "Global Outpost in Space: A Platform for Discovery -- The International Space Station" Wednesday during the AIAA's 50th Aerospace Sciences Meeting in Nashville, Tenn. The award honors Theodore von Karman, an early astronautics pioneer responsible for breakthroughs in understanding supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization and the value of the swept wing design.

"It is truly an honor to receive this special recognition from the AIAA and to have the opportunity to speak at this year's conference about the International Space Station and its importance to the future of human exploration," Gerstenmaier said. "Serving as a test bed for research and new technologies, the space station is the centerpiece for space operations and a stepping stone toward future exploration destinations."

Gerstenmaier began his NASA career in 1977 at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland performing aeronautical research, after receiving a B.S. aeronautical engineering from Purdue University. In 1988, he became head of the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV) Operations Office, Systems Division at the Johnson Space Center. Gerstenmaier also served as Shuttle/Mir Program Operations Manager from 1995 to 1997. In 1998, he became manager of Space Shuttle Program Integration. In December 2000, he was named deputy manager of the International Space Station Program, becoming the associate administrator for space operations in 2005. Currently, he heads the agency's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

For Gerstenmaier's complete biography, visit:

For information about NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, visit:


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