REDONDO BEACH, Calif., April 8, 2010 -- The Lunar CRater Sensing and Observation Satellite (LCROSS), built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), continues to receive industry accolades for its science value and innovative design. The program that proved the existence of water on the moon has won the Space Foundation's John L. "Jack" Swigert Award for Space Exploration.
The award will be presented to NASA Ames Research Center, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance on April 12 at the 26th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. The award presentation will take place during the symposium's opening ceremony, sponsored by Northrop Grumman.
The confirmation of water ice on the moon was part of the reason LCROSS was selected for the award, according to Space Foundation Executive Officer Elliott Pulham. "We were impressed with the way LCROSS leveraged both civil and commercial assets into a relatively low-cost, fast-turnaround project," he said. "Big bang – both figuratively and literally – for relatively few bucks."
The John L. "Jack" Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration was created in honor of astronaut Jack Swigert, a Colorado native who served with retired U.S. Navy Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr., and Fred Haise on the legendary Apollo 13 lunar mission, which was aborted after the 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. Grumman Corporation, now part of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, designed, assembled, integrated and tested the Lunar Module Aquarius, which served as a lifeboat for Lovell, Haise and Swigert during the mission.
The Space Foundation created the Swigert Award in 2004 as a tribute to the astronaut's lasting legacy of space exploration. Previous recipients include NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Team, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), The California Institute of Technology, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and NASA's Mars Exploration Team from JPL.
The LCROSS program has won a number of other prestigious awards, including a Space Pioneer Award from the National Space Society; Aviation Week's 2009 Program Excellence Award; the International Lunar Exploration Working Group's Technology Award; and numerous engineering and group achievement awards from Northrop Grumman and NASA Ames Research Center.
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the LCROSS spacecraft and integrated the science payload built at NASA Ames. Teams from Ames and Northrop Grumman ensured the spacecraft was tested, certified for flight and delivered for integration with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Atlas V launch system. Northrop Grumman also provided operations support during the mission.
The Space Foundation is an international, nonprofit organization and the foremost advocate for all sectors of the space industry – civil, commercial, military and intelligence. Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is a leader in space awareness activities, educational programs that bring space into the classroom and major industry events.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Sally Koris Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (310) 812-4721 Mobile: (310) 567-5279 firstname.lastname@example.org