Garver Will Receive the Prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award for Her Accomplishments

The National Space Society will host former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver at its International Space Development Conference this May. Ms. Garver has been selected to receive the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award for her important work in promoting the agency’s pioneering Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) and Commercial Crew (CC) Programs, marking the beginning of a new relationship between NASA and private industry. For her leadership, she is also the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. Lori currently serves as the CEO of the Earthrise Alliance.

“Lori’s work at NASA has ultimately saved the American taxpayer billions, of dollars,” said Dale Skran, NSS COO. “The Cargo Resupply Services and Commercial Crew programs represented a sea change in how NASA does business with the private sector. In large part as a result of Garver’s far-sighted leadership, public-private partnerships have become a growing part of how NASA operates, leading to rapid growth of private investment in space.

Garver started her space career with the National Space Society in the early 1980s, ultimately becoming NSS’s second executive director. She then transitioned to NASA, serving in a variety of ways, including the position of Associate Administrator of the Office of Policy and Plans, in which she reported directly to the NASA Administrator.

In the early 2000s, Garver worked in the commercial space sector, heading Capital Space LLC and advising the Avascent Group in Washington, D.C., providing strategic planning and technological feasibility research and advisement. She then became the lead space policy advisor to the Obama campaign, leading to her selection as NASA deputy Administrator in 2008.

“Lori’s career has ultimately led to the transformation of how NASA does business,” said Michelle Hanlon, NSS President. “After nearly a decade heading the National Space Society, she carried that knowledge and experience forward to become one of the few women to hold a top position at NASA. She championed the transformation of how NASA does business with commercial spaceflight companies and has continued to lead in aerospace with her work for the Air Line Pilot’s Association. The NSS is incredibly proud of her work to bring humanity closer to its ultimate destiny—to live and work in space affordably and sustainably.”

Garver’s hard work ultimately led to enormous savings via the utilization of the services of companies like SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, and others, to drive down the costs of supporting the International Space Station after the termination of the space shuttle program. By NASA’s own estimates, cost savings range from 50 to 90 percent across a variety of support programs.

Garver will accept the Heinlein award at the NSS annual International Space Development Conference, which runs from May 27-29 in Arlington, Virginia, where she will also present a keynote address. The Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award honors those individuals who have made significant, lifetime contributions to the creation of a free spacefaring civilization. The first woman to receive the award, she joins such luminary past winners as Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan, Gerard K. O’Neill, and Neil Armstrong.

For more information and registration, see the ISDC 2022 website.

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