NASA Awards Space Flight Awareness

Published 11:02 pm Saturday, November 3, 2007

Kiln resident Rob Harris, deputy procurement officer and senior contracting officer at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, was recently recognized by NASA’s Space Flight Awareness Program for his contributions to flight safety.

SSC Deputy Director Gene Goldman and Astronaut Charlie Hobaugh presented the award to Harris during a ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 21.

A Lancaster, Calif., native, Harris managed the acquisition of more than $2 billion in critical equipment and services in support of Stennis’ propulsion activities. He was also responsible for the High-Speed Data Acquisition procurement, liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen propellant services and critical valves and pressure vessels for the test facilities.

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Harris, along with 12 other SSC honorees, traveled to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to witness the launch of space shuttle Discovery on NASA’s STS-120 mission and tour the space center.

The SFA Program recognizes outstanding job performances and contributions by civil service and contract workers throughout the year and focuses on excellence in quality and safety in support of human space flight. The award is one of the highest honors presented to NASA and its contract employees for their dedication to quality work and flight safety. Recipients must have contributed beyond their normal work requirements toward achieving a particular human space flight 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.

Built in the 1960s to test the huge engines for the Saturn V moon rockets, SSC, in Hancock County, Miss., is America’s largest rocket engine test complex. Every space shuttle main engine has been test-fired and proven flight-worthy at SSC since 1975. The center has begun work on a new test stand to test the rocket engines that will carry Americans back to the moon and on to Mars.