Stennis Space Center employee Mike Beech of Carriere, Mississippi, was recognized Nov. 6 by NASA’s Space Flight Awareness Program with an Honoree Award for outstanding support of human spaceflight.
Beech is a manufacturing engineer for Aerojet Rocketdyne at Stennis Space Center. He was honored for his outstanding performance in supporting the development, modification, assembly and testing of the RS-25 engine.
Astronaut Jim Kelly, along with Sam Scimemi, International Space Station director at NASA Headquarters in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, presented the Honoree Awards during a ceremony in Houston.
In recognition of his flight program contributions, Beech toured NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and had the opportunity to view testing for the new Orion crew launch vehicle’s manual uprighting pneumatic system. NASA is building Orion to carry astronauts deeper into space than ever, to such destinations as the Moon and, ultimately, Mars. Orion will be launch by the new Space Launch System rocket.
Kelly was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He served as pilot on a pair of space shuttle Discovery flights – the STS-102 mission in March 2001 and the STS-114 Return to Flight mission in July/August 2005 following the loss of shuttle Columbia. Kelly has logged more than 641 total hours in space and also has served in various technical assignments in support of the Space Shuttle Program and the International Space Station.
NASA’s Space Flight Awareness Program recognizes outstanding job performances and contributions by civil service and contract employees throughout the year and focuses on excellence in quality and safety in support of human spaceflight. The Honoree Award is one of the highest honors presented to employees for their dedication to quality work and flight safety. Recipients must have contributed beyond their normal work requirements toward achieving a particular human spaceflight program goal; contributed to a major cost savings; been instrumental in developing material that increases reliability, efficiency or performance; assisted in operational improvements; or been a key player in developing a beneficial process improvement.