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Tribute to Roy Estes (Senate - July 29, 2002)

Status Report From: United States Senate
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2002

[Page: S7463]

   Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I rise today to congratulate my dear friend Roy Estess on his well deserved retirement, to thank him for his many years of dedicated service to our nation, and to wish him the very best as he pursues other interests and enjoys what I hope will be many fine years of health and happiness with his family.

   Roy S. Estess, a native of Tylertown, MS, is retiring as director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi. As director of Stennis Space Center for more than 13 years, Roy has been responsible for accomplishing the center's current NASA missions, rocket propulsion testing and remote sensing applications. Other responsibilities have included managing the Space Shuttle Main Engine test program; planning and accomplishing advanced propulsion test activities for NASA , some Department of Defense projects, and certain industry propulsion development and launch vehicle development programs; conducting research and technology development in earth and environmental sciences; commercializing remote sensing technology in cooperation with industry and government; developing technology for use in propulsion test and launch operations; and managing the overall center. Roy's vision and leadership have directly lead to Stennis Space Center becoming a unique Federal city that is home to more than 30 Federal, State, academic and private organizations.

   Roy Estess graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in aerospace engineering. He also has accomplished various graduate level studies, including completion of the advanced management program at the Harvard Graduate Business School. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Mississippi and is a member and past chairman of the advisory committee to the College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. Roy is also a member of several professional societies, some of which include Tau Beta Pi; the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the Mississippi Academy of Sciences; and the National Space Club.

   Roy has held various engineering and management positions during his 42 years of service in the United States government. He began his career as a civilian employee in the United States Air Force at Brookley Field in Alabama, and later at Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia. Roy came to the NASA Stennis Space Center in 1966 as a propulsion test engineer, working on perhaps the greatest technological achievement of all time, the Apollo missions to the moon. Roy worked on testing the second stage of the Saturn V moon vehicle during those exciting times. Working his way up through the ranks, he later served as head of the Applications Engineering Office, deputy of the Earth Resources Laboratory and director of the Regional Applications Program. From 1980 through 1988, Roy served as deputy director of Stennis Space Center and was named director in January, 1989. From 1992 to 1993, he was temporarily assigned to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as a special assistant to two consecutive NASA Administrators. From February, 2001 to April, 2002, Roy was temporarily assigned as acting director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

   Roy Estess has been named the recipient of numerous awards and honors, some of which include: the Presidential Distinguished Service, twice, and Meritorious Senior Executive Awards; NASA's Distinguished Exceptional Service, Equal Opportunity and Outstanding Leadership Medals; the National Distinguished Executive Service Award for Public Service; and the Alumni Fellow of Mississippi State University; as well as Citizen of the Year in his home town.

   Roy has served Mississippi and the nation in numerous ways outside of his professional career. In 1969, when south Mississippi was hit by the devastating hurricane Camille, Roy served on the Gulf coast disaster recovery team, making extraordinary efforts to help save lives and property in our state. An Eagle Scout himself, Roy has long been an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, including serving as Scout

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Master of Troop 87 of Picayune from 1966 to 1978. Roy has also served as a Deacon at his church, the First Baptist Church in Picayune.

   Roy and his wife, Zann, reside in Pearl River County, MS. They have two children, Andy and Mauri, and two grandchildren, Conner and Drew.

   I know my colleagues will join me in appreciation of Roy Estess for his extraordinary career of service to the nation and his community and in wishing him and his family the very best in all of their plans for the future. I am proud to call Roy Estess my friend. God bless you, Roy.

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