WASHINGTON — NASA has presented its premier honor for quality and performance, the George M. Low Award, to three companies that share a commitment to teamwork, technical and managerial excellence, safety, and customer service.

The 2008 Low Awards were presented Feb. 25 at NASA’s sixth annual Project Management Challenge in Daytona Beach, Fla., to:

— ARES Corporation, which provides high-end technical services as prime contractor for the International Space Station Program Integration and Control contract. ARES received the award in the small business service category. NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston nominated the company.

— The Boeing Company, which has processed every major payload flown on the space shuttle since 2002 under its Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services contract. Boeing received the award in the large business service category. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida nominated the company.

— Oceaneering Space Systems, which has a Houston office that specializes in adapting established technologies for safe use in space. The company has delivered more than 7,000 products on NASA-funded contracts during the past three years. Oceaneering received the award in the large business product category. NASA’s Johnson Space Center nominated the company.

The agency also recognized one finalist, United Space Alliance at Johnson, in the large business service category.

Established in 1985 and formerly known as NASA’s Excellence Award for Quality and Productivity, the Low award demonstrates the agency’s commitment to promote excellence and continual improvement by challenging NASA’s contractor community to be a global benchmark of quality management practices.

In 1990, the award was renamed in memory of George M. Low, an outstanding NASA leader during his 27-year tenure at the agency. Low was the deputy administrator from 1969 to1976 and a leader in the early development of NASA’s space programs.

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