NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has honored three
aerospace companies with 2004 Contractor Excellence Awards – recognizing
their contributions to the Marshall Center and NASA’s mission of human

ATK Thiokol Propulsion of Brigham City, Utah, is the winner of the large
business-product honor; Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. of Huntsville
received the large business-service award; and Hernandez Engineering, Inc.
of Huntsville was recognized in the small business-service category.

“These companies have a vital role with Marshall in achieving NASA’s goal of
safe human spaceflight,” said Marshall Center Director David King. “Their
contributions are helping us fulfill the Vision for Space Exploration, and
inspiring the next generation of space explorers.” The Vision calls for
Space Shuttles to return to safe flight to complete the International Space
Station, and for human and robotic exploration of the Solar System.

ATK Thiokol supplies the massive, reusable solid rocket motors that are part
of the solid rocket booster assemblies, the two silo-shaped rockets on each
side of the Space Shuttle on every Shuttle flight. The company was cited by
the Marshall Center for reducing the motor cycle time – the period to
prepare the rocket motors for re-use – by 25 percent over the life of the
contract and for saving $16.8 million by restructuring and improving
personnel and resource management programs. ATK Thiokol won this award in
2004 for similar contract performance in 2003.

Teledyne Brown Engineering performs payload integration – scheduling and
coordinating payloads or cargo – for the International Space Station;
provides service and support for the operation and maintenance of
propellants and other hardware; and furnishes engineering, analytical and
integration support to Marshall. Teledyne Brown’s award credits the company
for saving $15 million in the past four years by controlling overall costs,
and for its continuing commitment to safety and quality assurance.

Hernandez Engineering supports Marshall’s Safety and Mission Assurance
Directorate – the organization responsible for the safety, reliability and
quality assurance operations of Marshall Center programs. Company personnel
served as team members on the investigation into the loss of Columbia and
developed electronic data systems to replace directorate paper records and
manuals. The data systems resulted in a 5 percent cost savings for the

The Marshall Center will recognize each of the companies in ceremonies
during coming weeks.

Companies submit applications for the awards and are evaluated over the last
three years of their contracts with the Marshall Center. Judged by Marshall
representatives, companies were scored in seven basic areas, including
customer satisfaction; contract technical performance; schedule performance;
cost performance; management initiatives responsive to NASA’s strategic
goals; leadership and continuous improvement; and innovative technology

The honored companies also will be the Marshall Center’s 2005 nominees for
the George M. Low Award. Named after the former NASA deputy administrator
who served from 1969 to 1976, the award is NASA’s most prestigious honor for
quality and performance in the aerospace industry. The winner of that award
will be announced in the spring of 2006.

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