NASA’s Space Flight Awareness Program recognizes Picayune resident David Failla

Published 12:12 am Sunday, December 23, 2007

Picayune resident David Failla was recently recognized by NASA’s Space Flight Awareness Program for his contributions to flight safety. Failla is an experimental facilities development engineer with the NASA Engineering and Science Directorate at John C. Stennis Space Center.

Astronaut Jim Kelly and Deputy Associate Administrator for Space

Operations Mission Directorate Lynn Cline presented the award to Failla

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during a ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

A native of Slidell, La., Failla was recognized for continually going

above and beyond, placing an extremely high priority on workplace safety, and takes prompt action to eliminate workplace and system hazards and inefficiencies. He recently assumed the duties of acting facility manager of the Fluid Component Processing Facility in addition to performing his normal duties.

Failla, along with 13 other SSC honorees, traveled to Kennedy Space

Center in Florida to tour the space center and witness the launch of space shuttle Atlantis on NASA’s STS-122 mission, which was postponed to Jan. 2, 2008.

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.