Chris Marchant (GCD8) received a NASA Certificate of Appreciation at the June 24, 2009, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Honor Awards ceremony in Huntsville, Ala. Marchant was recognized for his contributions to the Ares I avionics and software development. The citation on his certificate reads, “for exemplary dedication and outstanding systems engineering contributions to the Ares Upper Stage avionics and software development.” NASA awards its certificate of appreciation for efforts that contribute directly to the success of NASA missions or programs.
NASA is developing Ares rockets as part of a program to return humans to the moon and eventually to send them beyond the moon. Ares I will be used to take astronauts to the International Space Station and to low Earth orbit to rendezvous with Ares V and the Altair lunar lander in preparation for traveling to the moon. Draper is working with the NASA Constellation project teams developing the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, lunar surface systems, and the autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technologies necessary for future lunar landings. For the Ares I, Draper works with the NASA Design Team at MSFC that is developing the avionics system architecture, the fault-tolerant computing system, the flight software, and critical vehicle control systems.
Flight Systems Architecture Group Leader and Ares I Technical Director Paul Doyle said, “Chris is widely regarded for his depth and breadth of understanding avionics-related technical issues on the Ares I project. He well represents the critically unique engineering talent that Draper provides.” Draper Huntsville General Manager and Ares I Program Manager Pete Paceley added, “Chris continues to make
technical contributions to Ares that are recognized by our MSFC sponsor. The award is a credit to his professionalism while raising the Lab’s profile with our MSFC sponsor through superior technical contributions.”