NASA astronauts honored two Draper Laboratory employees with the Silver Snoopy award for their work in ensuring safety and success with space shuttle missions during a Dec. 9 ceremony at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Mike Martin, Draper’s task lead for shuttle orbit flight control system development and optional services, was honored for algorithm development that improved and expanded the shuttle’s safety margins, as well as extended its ability to control the International Space Station (ISS) during and after assembly.
Zoran Milenkovic, a Draper staff member supporting NASA’s rendezvous and proximity operations team, was recognized for his work to help develop and refine the shuttle’s ability to rendezvous with the ISS, including an improved hand-held lidar (HHL) filter algorithm that astronauts use to gather range data as the shuttle approaches the station to dock.
Draper has been involved with U.S. human space work since designing the guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) system for the Apollo mission, and was honored in May with the Collier Trophy – the top U.S. aerospace award – as part of the ISS team. The Laboratory will help enable future human space missions through work on efforts like the avionics, fault-tolerant flight computer, and GN&C system for the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle; reentry algorithms for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle; and autonomous precision landing system technologies for the Lunar Landing Vehicle.