NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., have awarded NASA's Public Service Medal to 18 current and former TRW employees for their achievements and contributions to NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The Public Service Medal, the second highest award given to non-civil service employees, is awarded to individuals for their contributions to the mission of NASA. The medals were presented on June 20 at Marshall's annual Honor Awards ceremony in Huntsville by Center Director Art Stephenson and Joseph Rothenberg, associate administrator for Space Flight, NASA Headquarters.
The individuals honored, all from TRW's Space & Electronics Group, were: Art Ambrush, Robert Burke, Greg Davidson, Ralph Iwens, Steve Loer, Nancy Mayer, Bill Morelli, Bobby Noblitt, Keith Patrick, Joe Payne, Lorraine Ryan, Ralph Schilling, Joann Spolidoro, Scott Texter, Ann Weichbrod, Ed Wheeler, Robert Woods, and Joe Zboril. TRW employee Gregory Christopher was also recognized with the Marshall Director's Commendation Certificate.
TRW led the contractor team that designed and built NASA's Chandra's X-ray Observatory. Launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1999, Chandra uses the world's most powerful X-ray telescope and a suite of high resolution imaging and spectroscopy instruments to gather clues about a universe that cannot be seen by conventional optical telescopes.
Since August 1999, when Chandra produced its first X-ray images, the observatory has been allowing X-ray astronomers to create and analyze previously unattainable images of celestial phenomena such as quasars, black holes, remnants of exploding stars, and clouds of multi-million degree gas that comprise clusters of galaxies.
Among its most significant discoveries to date are the detection of a giant ring around the heart of the Crab Nebula, details of the shock wave created by an exploding star and resolution of the universe's high-energy X-ray ``glow'' into millions of specific light sources.
TRW has been designing and producing spacecraft systems for NASA's most challenging space science missions for more than 40 years. In addition to Chandra, the company is currently developing designs and technologies for several of NASA's future space astronomy missions, including the Space Interferometry Mission, the Next Generation Space Telescope and Terrestrial Planet Finder, all part of NASA's Origins program; Constellation-X, the successor mission to Chandra; and the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope, the follow-on mission to the TRW-built Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
With headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, TRW Inc. provides advanced technology products and services for the global automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and information systems markets. TRW news releases are available on the Internet at www.trw.com.