Glen H. Fountain, of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., has won the 2007 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management.
The prestigious award recognizes outstanding management of a significant space program or project; the AIAA is specifically saluting Fountain for 40 years of contributions to space missions that have advanced our fundamental understanding of Earth's environment and the solar system. Fountain currently is project manager of NASA's New Horizons, the first mission to Pluto and the distant Kuiper Belt on the planetary frontier.
"The AIAA made a fantastic choice for this award," says Robert Strain, head of the APL Space Department. "That a spacecraft is now speeding toward Pluto — after years of debate on whether such a mission could or should even happen — is a tribute to Glen's skilled leadership and management. It's the crowning accomplishment in a career rich with contributions to space science and engineering."
Fountain joined APL in 1966, after earning bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Kansas State University. He has held a number of management positions and supported a range of programs, including the Transit Improvement Program (for the world's first satellite navigation system) and missions dedicated to gamma-ray astronomy and studies of near-Earth magnetic fields. As supervisor of APL's space science instrument group, Fountain led the ultraviolet and visible instrument developments for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization's Delta series of missions, and also served as program manager for the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope. He began managing the New Horizons program in 2004, guiding a multi-organizational team of engineers and scientists through spacecraft development, testing, launch and operations. New Horizons lifted off in January 2006, encountered Jupiter last February and will reach Pluto in July 2015.
Fountain, a resident of Silver Spring, Md., is the 18th recipient of the von Braun award, named for Dr. Braun, one of the world's first rocket engineers and a leader in developing the Apollo Saturn V moon rocket. Fountain will receive his award — an engraved medal, certificate of citation and rosette pin — on Sept. 19 at the AIAA Annual Awards Luncheon, part of the AIAA Space Conference and Exhibit in Long Beach, Calif. For more information about the award, visit: http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=401.
Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory