NASA Mars Exploration Team earns first Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 27, 2004) -- The Space Foundation - founded 21 years ago in part to honor the memory and accomplishments of Apollo 13 astronaut John L. `Jack` Swigert, Jr. - today announced that the first Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration will be presented to the NASA Mars Exploration Team. The award for the Red Planet exploits of NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers will be presented Monday, March 29 during the Opening Ceremonies of the 20th Anniversary National Space Symposium. "Since the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers landed on Mars, more than 50 million people have logged on to NASA Web sites, generating more than six billion site hits," said Space Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Pulham. "Combined with the tens of millions more who have viewed NASA's Mars exploits via the news media, our landings on the red planet could well be the pop culture event of the decade, and a powerful example of the power of space exploration to propel the aspirations of the nation." "We are honored to present the Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration to the NASA Mars Exploration team," added Pulham. A Colorado native, Swigert served with CAPT James Lovell, USN (Retired) and Fred Haise on the legendary Apollo 13 lunar mission, which was aborted after the perilous rupture of an oxygen tank en route to the Moon. People around the world watched as NASA overcame tremendous odds to return the crew safely to Earth. Before joining the Apollo program, Swigert served with the U.S. Air Force as a combat pilot in Japan and Korea and then as an engineering test pilot for North American Aviation, Inc. and Pratt and Whitney. In 1982, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He died of cancer before taking the oath of office. The 20th National Space Symposium takes place at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs March 29 - April 1. This annual event is the premier U.S. policy and program forum, a "must do" opportunity for information and interaction on all sectors of space - commercial, civil and national security. More than 5,000 industry leaders, military and government officials and general space enthusiasts from around the world are expected to participate. On-line registration and conference details can be found at www.spacesymposium.org. The 20th National Space Symposium's Opening Ceremony is co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation; the Opening Night Reception is co-sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company; the Opening Night Fireworks and Dessert Reception is co-sponsored by Inmarsat; the Corporate Partnership Reception is co-sponsored by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; the Corporate Partnership Dinner is co-sponsored by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.; the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award Luncheon is co-sponsored by Spectrum Astro; the Space Technology Hall of Fame Reception is co-sponsored by Computer Sciences Corporation; the Space Technology Hall of Fame Dinner is co-sponsored by The Boeing Company; the exhibit center is sponsored by Northrop Grumman; the Media Center is sponsored by Sun Microsystems, Inc.; and the cyberspace center is sponsored by Hewlett Packard and Oracle Corporation. Additional sponsors include Air Force Research Laboratory, Analytical Graphics, Inc., BAE Systems, Cisco Systems, CSP Associates, Inc., Harris Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace, Infinite Links, Inmarsat, Iridium Satellite System, ITT Industries, Penwal Industries, Raytheon Company, SI International, SPACE.com, Space News, Space Systems Loral, SpaceVest, and Stellar Solutions. About the Space Foundation
The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Space Foundation is a national non-profit organization, which vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. In addition to the National Space Symposium, the Space Foundation annually conducts, along with its partnering organizations, Strategic Space 2004, scheduled Oct. 5-7, in Omaha, Neb. This year the Foundation will host the second annual Space Career Fair for College Students at the 20th National Space Symposium; and recently created a Web site just for kids with fun space activities. The Foundation also manages an on-site NASA Educational Resource Center; offers two distinct Master's in Space Studies Degrees in conjunction with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Regis University; and has trained more than 30,000 teachers since 1986 on Teaching With Space through Space Discovery graduate courses and national conferences. For more information, visit www.spacefoundation.org.