Kennedy Space Center Director Roy Bridges was honored as the 2001 Dr. Kurt
H. Debus Award Recipient on April 6 in recognition of his progressive,
visionary leadership and contributions to space technology and exploration.

The Florida Committee of the National Space Club presented the award during
the Twelfth Annual Dr. Kurt H. Debus Award Dinner held at the KSC
Visitor-Complex Debus Conference Facility.

The Debus Award was first given in 1980. Created to recognize significant
achievements and contributions made in Florida to the American aerospace
effort, the award is named for the KSC’s first Director, Dr. Kurt H. Debus.

“I am honored to become a recipient of this award,” said Bridges. “A number
of space program pioneers and innovators I greatly admire have received the
Debus Award over the years and I count myself fortunate to be listed among
their company. Any success that I have had I attribute to the great team
here at Kennedy Space Center and our partners in industry and academia.”

During Bridges’ tenure as Director, he has created a vision for KSC 25 years
into the future; reorganized the management structure to better position KSC
for spaceport technology research and development; created and strengthened
strategic partnerships with the State of Florida, the 45th Space Wing,
academia and industry; and introduced world-class safety practices to the

A veteran NASA astronaut as well as former commander of what is now the 45th
Space Wing on Florida’s Space Coast, Bridges was nominated by National Space
Club Florida Committee members and selected as this year’s honoree by a vote
of the organization’s steering committee.

“Roy Bridges was an easy choice,” said Ed Gormel, Executive Director
of the Spaceport Florida Authority and chairman of the National Space Club
Florida Committee. “I have worked professionally either for or with Roy for
some 15 years and have always been impressed by his talents, initiative and

Bridges is the second KSC Director to be so honored during the 12-year
history of the award. Forrest McCartney was the first, earning his trophy in

“The Debus Award honors significant contributions to our nation’s space
program by someone living and working here in Florida, and that’s exactly
what Roy Bridges is doing every day as the director of the Kennedy Space
Center,” Gormel said.

“His commitment to making the Cape Canaveral Spaceport a world-class launch
operations center for commercial, government and military users will ensure
Florida’s leadership in space for many years to come, and that’s something
the National Space Club Florida Committee is happy to recognize,” Gormel

The National Space Club originally was organized as the National Rocket Club
in October 1957 and was founded to stimulate the exchange of ideas and
information about rocketry and astronautics, and to promote the recognition
of America’s achievements in aerospace. The National Space Club is a
non-profit corporation whose membership includes representatives from
industry, government, education and the general public.