General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award Recipient Calls For Renewed U.S. Commitment to Space
In his remarks accepting the Space Foundation’s General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, former Under Secretary of the Air Force, former Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, and former president and COO of Lockheed Martin Corporation Peter B. Teets reaffirmed his belief that the United States should maintain its superiority in space. Referencing the pending gap in the nation’s manned space flight capability as the U.S. retires the space shuttle, Teets said, simply, “Shame on us.”
He then called for a return to a national commitment to space that will inspire innovation, achievement, and national pride. Teets underscored his point by quoting former President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1962 speech that launched the nation’s quest to put a man on the Moon: “We choose to go to the Moon . . . and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills . . .”
A long-time proponent of space – and of excellence in the pursuit of space – Teets was awarded the Space Foundation’s highest honor in front of overflow crowds at the annual Hill Luncheon on April 1. Raytheon co-sponsored the event.
Honoring the Space Foundation’s late, long-time chairman, General James E. Hill, USAF (Retired), the award recognizes outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through lifetime contributions to the welfare or betterment of humankind through exploration, development, and use of space, or through use of space technology, information, themes, or resources in academic, cultural, industrial, or other pursuits of broad benefit to humanity.
Teets served as Under Secretary of the Air Force and Director of the National Reconnaissance Office from December 2001 through March 2005. During that time, he was also designated as the first-ever Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space, with responsibility for developing, coordinating and integrating plans and programs for space systems. He retired as President and Chief Operating Officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation in 1999, following a 36-year career with Martin Marietta and Lockheed Martin.
Teets holds a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a master's degree in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado, Denver, a master's degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Colorado.