Stock Price: 133.76 +0.06 5/25/2018 3:59 PM ET

Stock Price: 133.76 +0.06 5/25/2018 3:59 PM ET
Orbital ATK Employees Recognized at 2015 RNASA Gala
Multiple nominees and award winners celebrated at the annual event


On the evening of April 24, shining stars in the space industry stepped out in their finest for the annual Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation award gala. With former CNN correspondent John Zarella as master of ceremonies, the evening celebrated the nominees, winners and industry as a whole.

RNASA Emcee John Zarella

Master of Ceremonies John Zarella welcomes everyone to the RNASA awards gala. (Photo: NASA)

RNASA was founded in 1985 to organize and coordinate an annual event to recognize outstanding achievements in space and create greater public awareness of the benefits of space exploration. Since 1989, the Foundation has presented the National Space Trophy to an outstanding individual who has made major contributions to our nation’s space program. Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Director of the Johnson Space Center, presented this year’s National Space Trophy to Colonel Robert D. Cabana.

Col. Robert Cabana

Col. Robert Cabana addresses the crowd after receiving his National Space Trophy at the 2015 RNASA Gala. (Photo: NASA)

RNASA also presents the Stellar awards to outstanding individuals in the industry in the Team and Early, Mid and Late career categories. Winners are selected by a Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel based on which accomplishments hold the greatest promise for furthering future activities in space, the extent to which the nominee played a key role in the accomplishment and the extent to which the nominee meets the goal of recognizing "unsung heroes."

The 2015 Evaluation Panel consisted of former National Space Trophy winners Gen. Kevin P. Chilton (Ret) who is also a member of Orbital ATK’s Board of Directors, Col. Eileen Collins, and Glynn S. Lunney, and former National Associate Administrator for Space Systems Development, Arnold D. Aldrich.

The Stellar Award winners each received engraved marble trophies generously sponsored by Orbital ATK. At the banquet, astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Col. Randy Bresnik announced the winners and presented trophies.

Caldewell and Bresnik

Astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Col. Randy Bresnik present the Stellar Awards. (Photo: NASA)

Orbital ATK is proud to have had a total of ten individual nominees and four team nominations with three employees taking home awards this year. Melinda Dutton won a Stellar Award in the Early Career category for her efforts on the Space Launch System program. John Jordan and Brian Keller each won Stellar Awards in the Late Career category. Jordan was nominated for his outstanding contributions as Chief Engineer on the Landsat-8 program and Keller was recognized for his efforts as lead engineer for rendezvous/proximity operations for Cygnus.
For Dutton, being recognized by the industry she loves is icing on the cake.  
"I've wanted to work in the space industry since I was a little girl. I even went to space camp two times," Dutton said. "I'm so proud to be able to work in the industry I love and to be honored for the work that I get to do for spaceflight is such a huge deal to me."
The list of all Orbital ATK nominees in their respective categories are as follows:
Orbital ATK had three nominees for Stellar Awards in the Early Career category, including:

Early Career Awards

RNASA Stellar Award winners for the Early Career category, Orbital ATK's Melinda Dutton
is pictured second from right. (Photo: NASA)

In the Mid-Career category, the following individuals were nominated:

Orbital ATK had four nominees for Stellar Awards in the Late Career category, including:

Late Career Awards

RNASA Stellar Award winners in the Late Career category. Orbital ATK's Brian Keller (4th from left) and John Jordan (6th from left). (Photo: NASA)

Team Award nominations included:

Group Stellar Awards

(l-r) Frank Culbertson, President of Orbital ATK's Space Systems Group, Stellar Award winners Brian Keller, John Jordan and Melinda Dutton.

The full list of nominees and award winners can be found on RNASA’s website at