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NASA Space Flight Awareness Program Honors Ames' Shuttle Operations Manager

Press Release From: Ames Research Center
Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

image MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - John Allmen of Gilroy, Calif., a senior project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., recently was honored by NASA's Space Flight Awareness Program for his outstanding support of human space flight.

Allmen was honored for his exceptional leadership while serving as manager of NASA Ames' Shuttle Operations Program from 2005-2011. This program provided direct and on-call support for space shuttle operations beginning with the shuttle's return to flight. His creative application of Ames' technical expertise and use of center facilities to gain access to vital shuttle information allowed NASA to obtain a more detailed understanding of mission risks and be better prepared to make mission go/no-go decisions.

"Supporting the Space Shuttle Program and working with some of the most talented people at NASA has been the pinnacle of my career," said Allmen. "Helping to ensure the safe launch and return of the space shuttles and our brave astronauts over the last six years would have been impossible without the focus and commitment of our dedicated team at Ames."

In recognition of such flight program contributions, Allmen traveled to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a tour of the center and to participate in activities in conjunction with the July 2, 2012 arrival of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Orion's delivery to Kennedy marks a critical milestone in preparation for its first test flight, scheduled for 2014.

The Honoree Award is one of the highest honors presented to civil service and contract employees and recognizes their dedication to outstanding job performance and contributions to the excellence in quality and safety in support of human space flight. Recipients must contribute beyond their normal work requirements toward achieving a particular human space flight program goal or 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.

Established in 1939 as the second laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Ames became NASA's Ames Research Center with the formation of NASA in 1958. Due, among other things, to its origins as an aeronautics center, Ames has played a major role in the development of the space shuttle since the program's inception in the spring of 1969. Ames built the largest arc jet complex in the world to test, in near-realistic re-entry conditions, large samples of many generations of shuttle tiles and blankets and more than half all preflight tests of the shuttle, totaling more than 35,000 hours, were conducted in Ames' wind tunnels. Shuttle cockpit designs and flight procedures were refined at a unique set of flight simulators built at NASA Ames while, in the Flight Simulator for Advanced Aircraft, Ames human factor specialists developed the shuttle orbiter display technology. Over the 30 years of the shuttle program, every shuttle pilot has practiced approaches and landings in the Ames Vertical Motion Simulator.

For information about NASA's Ames Research Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ames

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