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Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride Named 2013 General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award Honorees

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Two of the nation’s most beloved space heroes, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Sally K. Ride, Ph.D., will be honored later this year with the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, which will be presented at a special luncheon sponsored by The Boeing Company on April 10 at the 29th National Space Symposium at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Named for the Space Foundation’s former, long-time chairman, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award is one of the global space community’s highest honors. Past recipients have included Norman Augustine, Buzz Aldrin and Gen. Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., among others.

About Armstrong

The first person to walk on the Moon, Armstrong famously described his first lunar step on July 20, 1969, as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was the first U.S. civilian to fly in space, commander of the first docking in space and first mission abort from Earth orbit and commander of the first manned lunar landing.

Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was an officer in the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War. In 1958, he was selected for the U.S. Air Force’s Man In Space Soonest program, and in 1962 was asked to join the NASA Astronaut Corps as one of the The New Nine, the second group of astronauts selected by NASA.

He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot and later became deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA. He left NASA to return to his home state of Ohio, buy a farm and become professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Armstrong said in a 2005 TV interview, “I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work.” He died in 2012 at the age of 82.

About Ride

As the first American woman to fly in space and as President and CEO of Sally Ride Science, Ride was a special inspiration to girls and young women around the world.

She joined NASA in 1978 and in 1983 became the first American woman in space as a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7. At 32 years old, she was also the youngest American space traveler at the time.

Ride had a number of “firsts” and “onlies” in her career. On STS-7, she was the first woman to use the robot arm in space and the first to use the arm to retrieve a satellite. She was the only person to have served on the commissions investigating both the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia accidents.

Ride was author of five science books for children and initiated projects designed to inspire middle school students’ fascination with science. She died in 2012 at the age of 61. See more about her work at

About the Award

The Space Foundation annually presents the Hill award in honor of its late, long-time chairman, Gen. James E. Hill, USAF, Ret. 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. Tickets for the award luncheon can be purchased by Symposium attendees, but sell out quickly. For details see This is the first time the award has been presented posthumously.

About the Space Symposium

The 29th Space Symposium will be held April 8 -11 and offers presentations and panels covering all aspects of space, plus special events and presentation of several prestigious space-related awards.

The Space Symposium is offered in conjunction with Cyber 1.3, which examines the evolution of cyberspace. Separate registration is required for Cyber 1.3 and secure online registration for both is available online at For 2013, active military and government attendees will receive discounted 2010 rates, and industry attendees can save money by registering by Jan. 11.

This article is part of Space Watch: January 2013 (Volume: 12, Issue: 1).