EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 18, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- A Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) employee has been honored by NASA for his contributions to the design of composite structures for crew modules on future spacecraft.

Jerry L. Stuart, a structural design engineer at Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector in El Segundo, received an Engineering Excellence Award from the NASA Engineering & Safety Center on July 15 at a Washington, D.C., ceremony.

Stuart developed a method to adapt a software code that defines how graphite composite material is cut and formed into complex shapes, a key to ensuring manufacturing quality. His work contributed to NASA's Composite Crew Module program, an effort to increase the agency's experience in designing and building habitable space structures made from composites.

The use of composites rather than metals has the potential to greatly reduce weight, which could significantly reduce cost.

"Jerry Stuart's work exemplifies how the innovation of Northrop Grumman's technical community can help our customers meet some of their biggest challenges," said Corey S. Moore, vice president of Advanced Concepts and Integrated Solutions for Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems.

In addition to its work on the Composite Crew Module program, Northrop Grumman has assisted NASA in maturing the use of composite materials to manufacture large, cryogenic fuel tanks -- a technology that could become a critical enabler for future lunar and Mars exploration missions.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Jim Hart
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (310) 331-3616