CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., May 19, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- NASA has presented Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) William Sample with the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal for extraordinary accomplishments contributed to the NASA mission.

As president of Space Gateway Support, a joint venture led by Northrop Grumman to support the Joint Base Operations and Support Contract (J-BOSC) for the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, Sample leads and directs the J-BOSC (a partnered, base-services contract between NASA and the U.S. Air Force). He is also responsible for the integration and effective performance of the operations functions that help the Spaceport perform its mission.

Sample was recognized for leading the recertification and requalification of launch support systems, which have a direct interface with the space shuttle during return-to-flight processing. In addition, he served as the Space Gateway Support steering committee chairman, and worked with more than 150 NASA, Air Force and contractor personnel to refine the J-BOSC statement of work. His contributions and leadership to help secure the Cape Canaveral Spaceport from three hurricanes in 2004 protected many lives and technology vital to the space program.

In March, Space Gateway Support received NASA's premier honor, the George M. Low Award, for demonstrated excellence and outstanding technical and managerial achievements in quality and performance.

Sample retired from the Air Force in 1994 after 26 years of service, including management of operations and maintenance for the Eastern Range and, being vice wing commander of the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Sample earned a bachelor's degree in economics and sociology from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., a master's degree in industrial psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, and a master's degree in systems technology from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Space Gateway Support, a joint venture by Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector and Wackenhut Services, Inc., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., provides all the infrastructure support needed for launch and base operations at the Spaceport. The pioneering J-BOSC contract combines and streamlines service previously provided under multiple contracts under a single support contract. The ten-year, $3 billion contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman in 1998. Northrop Grumman has approximately 3,000 Space Gateway Support and J-BOSC team partner employees.

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, headquartered in McLean, Va., is a trusted IT leader and premier provider of advanced IT solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. The company's technological leadership spans such areas as homeland security solutions, health IT solutions, secure wireless, cyber and physical assurance, IT and network infrastructure, managed services, knowledge management, modeling and simulation, and geospatial intelligence solutions.

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