The National Space Society vision is people living and working in space

06 June 1997
Kistler Aerospace CEO Receives National Space Society's
Wernher Von Braun Memorial Award

Von Braun Highlights Series of Awards for Business, Science and Activism

Dr. George E. Mueller, CEO of Kistler Aerospace of California, was announced the winner of the Wernher von Braun Memorial Award on May 25 at the National Space Society's (NSS) 16th Annual International Space Development Conference in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Mueller received the award, which is presented every two years, in honor of his leadership of the manned space program during the 1960s. In recent years, Dr. Mueller has led the creation of Kistler Aerospace, a private company that is designing and building one of the world's first fully reusable vehicle systems.

"Dr. Mueller exemplifies the best characteristics of Dr. von Braun," said Dr. Frederick I. Ordway III, NSS Board member, Award Committee chairman and von Braun biographer. "His career illustrates a visionary outlook towards space flight, the ability to promote that vision, and the ability to motivate people to make that vision a reality."

Mueller, former head of the Apollo lunar landing program, managed the Gemini, Apollo and Saturn programs from 1963 through 1969. He was the originator of Skylab, the world's first space station, and was widely considered the "Father of the Space Shuttle." He authored the post Apollo plan, "An Integrated Program of Space Utilization and Exploration," which became the guiding document for NASA for the past several decades. Dr. Mueller was senior vice-president of the General Dynamics Corporation from 1969 -71, and chairman and president of System Development Corporation, a developer of software systems for the U.S. Air Force, from 1971 - 83. He is currently president of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Four other major awards -- the Space Pioneer Awards -- were also presented by the NSS on May 25 to: Lori Garver, NASA Senior Policy Analyst and former NSS Executive Director, for Special Merit; Greg Allison, NSS Huntsville Alabama Chapter President and HALO Rocket Program Manager, for Business/Entrepreneur; the Mars Meteorite Team of David McKay, Everett Gibson, Kathie Thomas-Keprta, Hojatollah Vali, Christopher Romanek, Simon Clemett, Xavier Chillier, Claude Maechlin and Richard Zare, for Scientist; and James Spellman, Jr., volunteer Executive Director of NSS's Western Spaceport Chapter, for Activist of the Year.

The Wernher von Braun Memorial Award is named after the late rocket pioneer and founder, in 1974, of the National Space Institute, which later merged with the L5 Society to become the National Space Society. The NSS is an independent, nonprofit space advocacy organization with headquarters in Washington, DC. Its 25,000 members and 95 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring civilization. For more information on the NSS and our future in space, visit

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Updated Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 15:23:38
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