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April 15, 2002
For Immediate Release

Media Contact

Helen Worth
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Laurel, MD 20723
Phone: 240-228-5113 or 443-778-5113

Aviation Week Magazine Honors Johns Hopkins APL Researchers and NEAR Mission for Space Advances

Staff members from The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., will be honored April 16 by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine for their contributions to the NEAR mission to an asteroid and the resulting advancement of space science. The awards will be given during a ceremony at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Thomas B. Coughlin, Robert W. Farquhar and the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission team will be inducted as 2001 Laureates in the space categorybg. APL's Stamatios "Tom" M. Krimigis will be feted as an "honoree" for his contributions to NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto.

Mr. Coughlin, who lives in Ellicott City, Md., is programs manager for APL's Space Department. Plying his specialties of mission management and mechanical engineering, he has worked with space missions at APL for 30 years. He oversaw NEAR mission development and early management of what was the first NASA Discovery program — a role that is being recognized by the Aviation Week award. Earlier work included serving as program manager for the design, development and fabrication of several fast-track defense department spacecraft missions and making significant contributions to the Transit Improvement Program to enhance what was the world's first satellite navigation system and the Magsat mission that measured Earth's magnetic field.

Dr. Farquhar, a specialist in mission design and orbital mechanics, has been instrumental in Laboratory space programs for 12 years. He has served as mission director for NEAR, and is currently mission director for CONTOUR, a mission that will launch in July to study at least two comets. He also serves as mission manager for the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, which is scheduled to launch in 2004 and enter orbit around the planet in 2009. Prior to APL, Dr. Farquhar worked for NASA for 25 years, where he developed innovative maneuvers such as "halo orbits" as a member of the ISEE-3, SOHO and Wind teams and lunar gravity-assist trajectories for several other missions. He is a resident of Columbia, Md.

The NEAR mission — the first mission in NASA's Discovery Program — was managed by APL and accomplished the spectacular feat of landing the first spacecraft on an asteroid when it touched down on asteroid Eros on Feb. 12, 2001.

Dr. Krimigis, a physicist and head of APL's Space Department, has been a space scientist for more than 40 years and has designed and built instruments that have flown to seven of the nine planets. His participation in the MESSENGER mission to Mercury and the New Horizons mission to Pluto will complete the set. His efforts to advance a mission to Pluto — the last unexplored planet in the solar system — earned recognition as an "honoree" by Aviation Week. He is a specialist in solar, interplanetary and magnetospheric physics; serves as a principal investigator for the Voyager and Cassini probes and is a co-investigator for the Galileo, Ulysses, and ACE missions. He is a resident of Silver Spring, Md.

The 2001 Laureates will be presented with trophies at tomorrow's ceremony and chronicled in the April 29 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology.


The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.