|The Honorable Ralph M. Hall to Receive the AIAA 2015 Public Service Award
Honored for Outstanding Service to and Leadership of the U.S. Space Program
March 16, 2015 – Reston, Va. – The Honorable Ralph M. Hall, U.S. Congressman (R-Texas 4th) (1981 – 2015), Rockwall, Texas, has won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2015 Public Service Award. Hall will receive the award on May 6, during the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
The award honors Hall for his “outstanding service and leadership to our nation’s space program, advancing its economic competitiveness and ensuring the nation’s security.”
“It is a great honor to receive this award from AIAA, and it also was a great honor to serve on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology throughout my 34 years in Congress,” said Hall. “As much or more than any civilian government program, America’s space program has been critical to our nation’s technological and economic leadership, innovation, and national security. I want to thank all the members of AIAA for their dedication to sustaining America’s preeminence in aerospace, and I share this award with all those who gave me the benefit of their good advice and guidance.”
Congressman Ralph Hall represented the fourth district of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 2014, serving on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology for the entirety of his term of office. He is the only member of the Committee to serve as ranking member as a Democrat and later as a Republican. During the 112th Congress, Hall restored the word “Space” to the House Committee’s full title. Hall also once chaired the Committee’s Space Sub-Committee.
During his Hill tenure, Hall was a champion of NASA, and was hailed as “a strong proponent of sufficiently funding the organization,” and a “champion of ensuring America’s leadership in space, advancing its economic competiveness and ensuring the nation’s security.” During his tenure as chair of the House Committee, Hall provided oversight and legislative leadership for some of NASA’s biggest achievements including the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle Program, the Hubble Space Telescope and the ongoing development of the James Webb Telescope, continued exploration of Mars, and development of America’s next generation heavy-lift vehicle and crew capsule. Hall also oversaw the congressional investigation into the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy.
Ralph Hall has been one of the stalwart champions of the U.S. space program,” said Sandra Magnus, AIAA executive director. “His leadership made so much of what we take for granted today possible – beautiful pictures of our galaxy from the Hubble Space Telescope; years of scientific data collected from numerous space shuttle flights; and the International Space Station and all the promise it holds for transforming our lives. This award is a fitting recognition for a public servant who did so much to make the U.S. space program a world leader in discovery and innovation.”
Hall also was a strong supporter of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, and recognized the importance of attracting and retaining STEM students for America’s space and science programs. Hall especially supported STEM initiatives as part of NASA’s Space Grant Program.
Hall is a World War II veteran, having served in the United States Navy as a combat aircraft carrier pilot from 1942 to 1945, leaving the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant.
Established in 1986, the AIAA Public Service Award honors a person outside the aerospace community who has shown consistent and visible support for national aviation and space goals.
For more information about the AIAA Public Service Award, or the AIAA Honors and Awards program, please contact Carol Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org 703.264.7623.
AIAA is the world’s largest aerospace professional society, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.