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|NASA Distinguished Service Medal|
|Awarded for||"distinguished service, ability, or courage, [that] has...made a contribution representing substantial progress to aeronautical or space exploration in the interests of the United States"|
|Presented by||the National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|Eligibility||Federal government employees|
|Established||July 29, 1959|
|Next (higher)||Congressional Space Medal of Honor|
|Equivalent||Distinguished Public Service Medal|
|Next (lower)||Outstanding Leadership Medal|
The NASA Distinguished Service Medal is the highest award that can be bestowed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States. The medal may be presented to any member of the federal government, including both military astronauts and civilian employees.
The NASA Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to those who display distinguished service, ability, or courage, and have personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission. The contribution must be so extraordinary that other forms of recognition would be inadequate.
Typical presentations of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal included awards to senior NASA administrators, mission control leaders, and astronauts who have completed several successful space flights. Due to the prestige of the award, the decoration is authorized for wear on active uniforms of the United States military. Another such authorized decoration is the NASA Space Flight Medal.
Upon the recommendation of NASA, the president may award an even higher honor to astronauts, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
The medal was original awarded by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and was inherited by NASA. The first NASA version (type I), featuring the NASA seal, was issued from 1959 until 1964, when it was replaced by the current type II medal (shown).
The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is a military decoration of the United States Department of Defense, which is presented to United States Armed Forces servicemembers for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to the national security or defense of the United States. The medal was created on July 9, 1970, by President Richard Nixon in Executive Order 11545. President Nixon awarded the first medal, on the day the Executive Order was signed, to General Earle Wheeler, who was retiring from the US Army after serving as Chief of Staff of the United States Army and then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) is a military decoration of the United States Department of Defense, which is presented to United States Armed Forces service members who perform superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility.
Walter Marty Schirra Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. In 1959, he became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, which was the United States' first effort to put human beings into space. On October 3, 1962, he flew the six-orbit, nine-hour, Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, in a spacecraft he nicknamed Sigma 7. At the time of his mission in Sigma 7, Schirra became the fifth American and ninth human to travel into space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous, station-keeping his Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot (30 cm) of the sister Gemini 7 spacecraft in December 1965. In October 1968, he commanded Apollo 7, an 11-day low Earth orbit shakedown test of the three-man Apollo Command/Service Module and the first crewed launch for the Apollo program.
The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. The medal was established on July 2, 1926, and is currently awarded to any persons who, after April 6, 1917, distinguish themselves by single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. Both heroism and extraordinary achievement are entirely distinctive, involving operations that are not routine. The medal may be awarded to friendly foreign military members in ranks equivalent to U.S. Pay Grade of O-6 and below, in actual combat in support operations.
The Navy Cross is the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps' second-highest military decoration awarded for sailors and marines who distinguish themselves for extraordinary heroism in combat with an armed enemy force. The medal is equivalent to the Army's Distinguished Service Cross, the Air Force and Space Force's Air Force Cross, and the Coast Guard Cross.
The Navy Distinguished Service Medal is a military decoration of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps which was first created in 1919 and is presented to sailors and Marines to recognize distinguished and exceptionally meritorious service to the United States while serving in a duty or position of great responsibility.
The Iven C. Kincheloe Award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishment in the conduct of flight testing. It was established in 1958 by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in memory of test pilot and Korean War ace Iven C. Kincheloe, United States Air Force, who died during flight testing.
The Society of Experimental Test Pilots is an international organization that seeks to promote air safety and contributes to aeronautical advancement by promoting sound aeronautical design and development; interchanging ideas, thoughts and suggestions of the members, assisting in the professional development of experimental pilots, and providing scholarships and aid to members and the families of deceased members.
This is a listing of recipients of the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow's Distinguished Service Award (DSA). See Honors and awards of the Order of the Arrow for a description of the DSA.
The NASA Exceptional Service Medal is an award granted to U.S. government employees for significant sustained performance characterized by unusual initiative or creative ability that clearly demonstrates substantial improvement in engineering, aeronautics, space flight, administration, support, or space-related endeavors which contribute to NASA programs.
The NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal is an award similar to the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, but awarded to non-government personnel. This is the highest honor NASA awards to anyone who was not a government employee when the service was performed.
The NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal was established by NASA in 1981 to recognize unusually significant engineering contributions towards achievement of aeronautical or space exploration goals. This award is given for individual efforts for applications of engineering principles or methods that have resulted in a contribution of fundamental importance in this field or have significantly enhanced understanding of this field or have significantly advanced the state of the practice as demonstrated by an application to aerospace systems.
The NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal was established by NASA on September 15, 1961, when the original ESM was divided into three separate awards. Under the current guidelines, the ESAM is awarded for unusually significant scientific contribution toward achievement of aeronautical or space exploration goals. This award may be given for individual efforts that have resulted in a contribution of fundamental importance in this field, or have significantly enhanced understanding of this field.
The ASME Medal, created in 1920, is the highest award bestowed by the ASME Board of Governors for "eminently distinguished engineering achievement". The award has been presented every year since 1996, and it consists of a $15,000 honorarium, a certificate, a travel supplement not to exceed $750, and a gold medal inscribed with the words, "What is not yet, may be".
The NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal is awarded to US government employees only for notably outstanding leadership which affects technical or administrative programs of NASA. The leadership award may be given for an act of leadership, for sustained contributions based on a leader's effectiveness, for the productivity of the leader's program, or for the leader's demonstrated ability in developing the administrative or technical talents of other employees.
The George Westinghouse Medal is named for George Westinghouse and awarded to in honor of "eminent achievement or distinguished service in the power field of mechanical engineering" by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. There is a Gold medal and a Silver medal. The silver medal may only be awarded to someone under 45 years of age.
The John J. Montgomery Award was created by the National Society of Aerospace Professionals (NSAP) and the San Diego Aerospace Museum in 1962 for aerospace achievement. It was awarded from 1962 to at least 1964.
The International Air & Space Hall of Fame is an honor roll of people, groups, organizations, or things that have contributed significantly to the advancement of aerospace flight and technology, sponsored by the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Since its founding in 1963, over 200 individuals have been inducted into the Hall, with new additions inaugurated at an annual gala.
Charles Joseph Donlan was an American NASA researcher and manager, who was involved in the development of its facilities and research techniques, and the formulation, implementation, and direction of technical programs in support of manned and unmanned space exploration.