RELEASE: 00-312

Three contractors for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, Ala., are winners of the 2000 Contractor Excellence Award, an
annual award designed to recognize contractors for outstanding contributions
to the Marshall Center.

TRW Space and Electronics Group of Redondo Beach, Calif., was
selected this year’s winner in the large-business product category.
Sverdrup Technology Inc. of Huntsville, received the award for the
large-business service category. Native American Services Inc., also of
Huntsville, was the winner of the small-business service category.

The Contractor Excellence Award is presented to prime contractors,
subcontractors and suppliers for significant contributions to Marshall’s
mission over a three-year period. The award may be presented in four
categories, recognizing outstanding product and service performance in large
and small businesses.

“The outstanding accomplishments of these three companies have
contributed significantly to Marshall’s role as NASA’s lead center for space
transportation,” said Marshall Center Director Arthur G. Stephenson.

Stephenson will present the awards during a ceremony later
this month.

TRW Space & Electronics Group was recognized for extensive
technology development activities supporting propulsion development,
precision optical system design, and future space science, Earth
observatories, and remote sensing.

“TRW’s most notable achievement is the technology breakthrough
represented by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory,” Stephenson said. “The
on-orbit performance has exceeded everyone’s expectations. We are proud to
honor their uncompromising focus on quality.”

Two noteworthy TRW achievements were the Advanced Columbium Liquid
Apogee Engine and the low-cost Pintle Engine. The company has also
demonstrated exceptional community involvement with the space program by
sponsoring low-income students to attend U.S. Space Camp, and linking
schools to NASA Web sites.

Sverdrup Technology, winner in the large-business service category,
has served as the support contractor for the Engineering and Science
Directorates for the past 10 years. Sverdrup contributes to such projects
which include the Space Transportation System, microgravity experiments, and
the International Space Station, as well as in-house efforts such as the
Space-Based Observatories and technology development and application.

“The people of Sverdrup have made numerous contributions to the
technical excellence of the Marshall mission,” said Stephenson.

Sverdrup has maintained consistently high award fees during the past
three years and has demonstrated commitment to timeliness by meeting or
exceeding milestones on 98 percent of all assigned tasks, said Stephenson.
One noteworthy Sverdrup achievement was the automated task management system
– at no expense to the government – which saves 40 hours of processing time
per task.

Native American Services, which garnered the small-business service
award, is a prime contractor within the Materials, Processes, and
Manufacturing Department at Marshall. Its primary tasks are to operate the
Materials Combustion Research Facility and to maintain the Materials and
Processes Technical Information Systems.

We are proud to have this company working side by side with us here
at Marshall,” Stephenson said. “Native American Services has continually
rated superior in yearly reviews and demonstrated an excellent three-year
cost reduction record.”

The company’s overall accuracy of testing performance has been 99.98
percent with an overall effectiveness of testing schedule at 99.94 percent,
said Stephenson.

Award recipients are selected on the criteria of contract
performance and customer satisfaction; schedule; cost; long-term
organizational initiatives responsive to Marshall’s strategic aspirations;
leadership and continuous improvement; and innovative management and
technology breakthroughs.

The Marshall Center each year nominates recipients of its Contractor
Excellence Award for the George M. Low Award, NASA’s most prestigious award
for quality and performance in the aerospace industry. The Low Award
recognizes suppliers who demonstrate sustained excellence and outstanding
achievements in quality management.