The Space and Missile Systems Centerís Launch and Range Systems Safety Team is this year’s winner of the Air Force Chief of Safety Space Safety Award.
The team was one of two Air Force Space Command-level winners to take the top spot at the Air Force-level. The other team being the Air Force Network Integration Center at Scott AFB, Ill., who won the Air Force Chief of Safety Cyber Safety Award.
The LR team was cited for the safe execution of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program. They performed multiple mission assurance activities to ensure satellites made it to orbit, including appropriate collision avoidance analysis to reduce the risk of collisions between launch vehicles and orbiting objects, and controlled re-entries of launch vehicles upper stages. The team also developed and implemented an improved analysis technique to protect the International Space Station by ensuring a safe separation of the upper stage’s disposal orbit and the space station’s orbit to ensure there aren’t any collisions. NASA is studying this technique for further implementation.
Upon winning at the Space Command-level, Maj. Erick Fonseca, Systems Integration Branch chief said, “I am proud of my folks. It is a team effort. They have a lot of influence and credibility. That, in itself, is the essence [of their achievement].”