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

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. The 2009 awards were presented Wednesday, Feb. 10, at NASA’s seventh annual Project Management Challenge in Galveston, Texas, to:

— United Space Alliance, or USA, of Houston. USA provides ground operations, vehicle processing and logistics at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.; delivers specialty engineering and technical services at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.; and designs and plans missions, trains astronauts, develops and verifies software, and executes mission operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. USA received the award in the large business service category.

— Applied Geo Technologies, or AGT, of Choctaw, Miss. Tribally owned AGT is a small, disadvantaged provider of aerospace and defense services. It provides scientific, laboratory and geographic analysis services; maintains measurement standards; and calibrates and repairs instrumentation at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss. AGT received the award in the small business service category.

The award was established in 1985 as NASA’s Excellence Award for Quality and Productivity. It was renamed in 1990 in memory of George M. Low, an outstanding leader during his 27-year tenure at the agency. Low was NASA’s deputy administrator from 1969 to 1976 and a leader in the early development of space programs.

For more information about the George M. Low Award, visit: