Agency Honor Awards
NASA’s most prestigious honor awards are approved by the Administrator and presented to a number of carefully selected individuals and groups of individuals, both Government and non-Government, who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the Agency’s mission. The Chair of the Incentive Awards Board (IAB) annually requests nominations for the various NASA honor awards. After a rigorous review, the nominations are forwarded to the IAB chair for approval. NASA medals and/or certificates are, subsequently, presented to the award recipients by the Agency’s highest officials at the annual awards ceremonies held at NASA Headquarters and each NASA Center.

Bill Farrell, Principal Investigator for NLSI’s Dynamic Response of the Environment At the Moon (DREAM) team, received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award for his major accomplishments in understanding dusty
plasma environments of the Moon and other solar system bodies and the
consequences for exploration.

The DREAM team has researched the interaction between plasma, the neutral atmosphere, and the lunar surface and found that the Moon may have a reactive surface chemistry nature to it that is stimulated by plasma– which may explain unusual features like the emission of hot sodium from the lunar surface and water molecules collecting on surfaces exposed to the harsh space environment.

The team is currently forming and running super-models, where individual models work together in parallel to help scientists better understand the lunar environment.

The Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal is a prestigious NASA medal awarded to both Government and non-Government individuals for exceptional scientific contributions (specific, concrete scientific achievements) toward achievement of the NASA mission. The award is given for individual efforts that have resulted in a key scientific discovery or resulted in contribution(s) of fundamental importance in this field or significantly enhanced understanding of the field. Scientific contributions typically result from reasoned investigations or studies of phenomena using collected data and observations, current scientific theories and formulae, and the scientific method and/or other formal techniques, to attain enduring principles.

The NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) has also received a NASA Group Achievement Award for excellence in outreach and bringing lunar sceince to a new generation. When it comes to astronomy and space science, few communities are more underserved than the visually impaired. In a pioneering effort, the NLSI funded the production of “Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters,” a Braille book featuring tactile pages that provide visually impaired readers with an understanding of lunar crater landforms and the processes behind them. Furthermore, NLSI is enabling visually impaired citizens to participate in the science of the LADEE mission by making counts of radio meteor signals during the mission, allowing mission scientists to make inferences about impact conditions on the Moon during the mission. These are just two examples of how the innovative NLSI central office has provided exceptional public outreach, greatly benefiting NASA and the general public.

The prestigious NASA Group Achievement Award is awarded to any combination of Government and/or non-Government individuals for an outstanding group accomplishment that has contributed substantially to NASA’s mission.

The selection criteria includes:
*The quality of results and the Agency or multi-Center level of impact on programs or operations;
*Effective management of cost and schedule;
*Customer satisfaction;
*Team growth and capacity for future contribution (Government personnel only);
*Additional credit for development of innovative approaches, use of and contributions to lessons-learned data banks, and/or
*Success in responding to unforeseen crises.

NLSI Group

For a full list of award recipients, visit: http://ohcm.ndc.nasa.gov/participants-nasa/Recipients/2012NHA.html

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: NASA

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