THE 24th RNASA FOUNDATION’S GALA ON APRIL 30, 2010, WAS AN OUTSTANDING SUCCESS
The 24th annual RNASA Foundation’s gala on April 30, 2010 at the Houston Hyatt Regency hotel was an outstanding success. The Board of Advisors of the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation honored NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations, William H. Gerstenmaier, as the recipient of the 2010 National Space Trophy. As Associate Administrator, Gerstenmaier is responsible for oversight of all NASA’s Space Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), space launch services programs, and the astronaut crew health program, and the communication systems network.
The Master of Ceremonies was Miles O’Brien, Miles O'Brien Productions, Chairman NASA Advisory Council, Education and Public Outreach Committee. Rodolfo González, President of the RNASA Foundation, who welcomed the large crowd, introduced Houston Mayor Annise Parker who gave a speech that showed her passion and commitment to NASA and the Johnson Space Center.
Charles Frank "Charlie" Bolden, Jr., Maj. Gen. USMC (Ret.), NASA Administrator, and former astronaut with four space flights - STS-61C in 1986, STS-31 in 1990, STS-45 in 1992, and STS-60 in 1994, received a standing ovation as he walked on stage to give the keynote address. He delivered a wonderful and inspirational speech that will be long remembered by those who attended the banquet.
Michael Foreman, Captain USN (Ret.), and former astronaut with two space flights - STS-123 in March 2008 and STS-129 in November 2009, and K. Megan McArthur, PhD, astronaut of one space flight - STS-125 Atlantis in May 2009, presented the Stellar Awards. The Stellar Awards recognize the “unsung heroes” of the space program in four categories. Early Career, Middle Career, Late Career, and 33 Team category nominations representing NASA, the United States Air Force, and 25 different corporations.
Mike Coats, Director of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Captain USN (Ret.), and former astronaut with three space flights - STS-41-D in 1984, STS-29 in 1989, and STS-39 in 1991, and Dr. Michael Griffin, Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville, and former NASA administrator, presented the 2010 National Space Trophy to William H. Gerstenmaier. Lt. General Thomas Stafford, USAF (Ret.) then presented an Omega watch to Gerstenmaier.
There were two outstanding video presentations: The Year in Review and The Shuttle Tribute Video by Marc Havican, owner of Space City Films Inc. The RNASA website is http://www.rnasa.org/.