Space Foundation Press Releases

Edward C. `Pete` Aldridge, Jr., tapped by Space Foundation board for 2005 General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 10, 2005) — The Space Foundation announced today that Edward C. `Pete` Aldridge, Jr., is the 2005 recipient of its highest award – the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. Aldridge will be honored at a special luncheon on April 6 in Colorado Springs during the 21st National Space Symposium. The Hill Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Space Foundation and is presented annually in honor of its late, long-time chairman, retired U.S. Air Force General James E. Hill. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through lifetime contributions to the welfare or betterment of humankind through the exploration, development and use of space, or the use of space technology, information, themes or resources in academic, cultural, industrial or other pursuits of broad benefit to humanity. Nominations are solicited from throughout the space industry worldwide, with the honoree selected by the board of directors of the Space Foundation. Aldridge was selected for his extraordinary and sustained impact over 25 years in shaping policies that govern our space programs and his continual efforts to advance the interests of the United States through its space assets. Aldridge most recently served by presidential appointment as chairman of the president’s Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy, also known as the Moon-to-Mars Commission, whose recommendations, delivered in June 2004, influenced and advanced the president’s Vision for Space Exploration. Aldridge served in many influential positions where he shaped practices and policies for current space systems. He is the former under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, where he served from May 2001 to May 2003. He was the chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation from 1992 to 2001. He came to that position from McDonnell Douglas Electronic Systems Company, where he served as president from 1988 to 1992. He was confirmed as the 16th secretary of the U.S. Air Force in June 1986 and led the department until 1988. Aldridge has served in a variety of positions within the Department of Defense and private industry for more than 30 years. The positions he held include adviser to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in Helsinki and Vienna; senior manager with the LTV Aerospace Corporation; director of planning and evaluation for the secretary of defense (OSD/PA&E); senior management associate in the Office of Management and Budget; deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategic programs; vice president of national policy and strategic systems group for the Systems Planning Corporation; and under secretary of the Air Force, with the responsibility for providing overall direction, guidance and supervision for the National Reconnaissance Office and the Air Force space program. Aldridge was also an astronaut-in-training as a payload specialist on the first planned mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which was cancelled because of the Challenger accident. This year marks the fourth annual presentation of the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. The 2004 award was presented to retired Air Force Gen. Bernard A. Schriever. The 2003 award went to retired Navy Capt. James Lovell, Jr., and the 2002 award went to Norman R. Augustine, chairman emeritus of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The National Space Symposium is the premier annual space industry conference, and is scheduled April 4-7, 2005, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award Luncheon, co-sponsored by the Colorado Space Coalition and hosted by Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, will take place on Wednesday, April 6. More than 6,500 space professionals from around the world are expected to participate in the 21st National Space Symposium. The event draws the most senior executive leadership from NASA and other space and government agencies, the commercial space and satellite broadcasting industry, research universities and academia, space tourism concerns, the Department of Defense, military space commands and the global space industry. Symposium program information and online registration are available at or by calling the Space Foundation at (800) 691-4000. The symposium kicks off on Monday, April 4, with a spectacular opening ceremony, co-sponsored by The Boeing Company; opening night reception, co-sponsored by ITT Industries; and opening night dessert reception and fireworks, co-sponsored by General Dynamics. Sponsorship highlights include: the exhibit center, co-sponsored by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.; media center, co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin; corporate partnership dinner, co-sponsored by Raytheon Company; corporate partnership reception, co-sponsored by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award luncheon, co-sponsored by the Colorado Space Coalition; and the Space Technology Hall of Fame Awards dinner, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman. Additional sponsors include: Analytical Graphics, Inc., ATK Thiokol, Cisco Systems, EcoQuest International, Florida Space Authority, Harris Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace, Infinite Links, Inmarsat,, Space News, Space Systems/Loral, SpaceVest, Stellar Solutions, and Swales Aerospace. About the Space Foundation Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Space Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Space Foundation annually conducts, along with its partnering organizations, the National Space Symposium, scheduled April 4-7, 2005, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; and Strategic Space 2005, scheduled Oct. 4-6, 2005, in Omaha, Neb. For more information, visit