NASA and
the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., have awarded
NASA’s Public Service Medal to 18 current and former TRW employees for
their achievements and contributions to NASA’s Chandra X-ray

The Public Service Medal, the second highest award given to
non-civil service employees, is awarded to individuals for their
contributions to the mission of NASA. The medals were presented on
June 20 at Marshall’s annual Honor Awards ceremony in Huntsville by
Center Director Art Stephenson and Joseph Rothenberg, associate
administrator for Space Flight, NASA Headquarters.

The individuals honored, all from TRW’s Space & Electronics Group,
were: Art Ambrush, Robert Burke, Greg Davidson, Ralph Iwens, Steve
Loer, Nancy Mayer, Bill Morelli, Bobby Noblitt, Keith Patrick, Joe
Payne, Lorraine Ryan, Ralph Schilling, Joann Spolidoro, Scott Texter,
Ann Weichbrod, Ed Wheeler, Robert Woods, and Joe Zboril. TRW employee
Gregory Christopher was also recognized with the Marshall Director’s
Commendation Certificate.

TRW led the contractor team that designed and built NASA’s
Chandra’s X-ray Observatory. Launched aboard the Space Shuttle
Columbia in July 1999, Chandra uses the world’s most powerful X-ray
telescope and a suite of high resolution imaging and spectroscopy
instruments to gather clues about a universe that cannot be seen by
conventional optical telescopes.

Since August 1999, when Chandra produced its first X-ray images,
the observatory has been allowing X-ray astronomers to create and
analyze previously unattainable images of celestial phenomena such as
quasars, black holes, remnants of exploding stars, and clouds of
multi-million degree gas that comprise clusters of galaxies.

Among its most significant discoveries to date are the detection
of a giant ring around the heart of the Crab Nebula, details of the
shock wave created by an exploding star and resolution of the
universe’s high-energy X-ray “glow” into millions of specific light

TRW has been designing and producing spacecraft systems for NASA’s
most challenging space science missions for more than 40 years. In
addition to Chandra, the company is currently developing designs and
technologies for several of NASA’s future space astronomy missions,
including the Space Interferometry Mission, the Next Generation Space
Telescope and Terrestrial Planet Finder, all part of NASA’s Origins
program; Constellation-X, the successor mission to Chandra; and the
Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope, the follow-on mission to the
TRW-built Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

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