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Thursday, November 10, 2011

NASA Honors Draper's Hattis for Work on Orion Program

CAMBRIDGE, MA –The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) honored Philip Hattis, a senior engineer at Draper Laboratory, with its Engineering Excellence Award during a Nov. 1 ceremony for his contributions to an assessment of the combined control stability effects of Orion spacecraft propellant slosh and booster dynamics during launch of the crew module.

In an effort to limit spacecraft mass, engineers designing the Orion module excluded using baffles in the propellant tanks resulting in concern that weakly damped propellant slosh motion might adversely interact with bending and vibration of the launch vehicle during ascent. Hattis worked with NASA to evaluate the safety consequences of this design and to formulate risk mitigation strategies that would limit associated system design changes.

“This award signifies NASA’s recognition of the critical role that Draper and, in particular, Phil, continues to have in NASA’s human space programs,” said Séamus Tuohy, Draper’s director of space systems.

Hattis, who holds a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronauts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has worked at Draper since 1974, and has provided technical leadership and strategic planning to the Lab’s work in areas including climate monitoring, human spaceflight, autonomous space systems, precision Mars landing, advanced satellite navigation, reusable launch, ballistic missile defense, and precision airdrop.

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