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JSC Quintet receive prestigious 2023 Agency Honor Awards in May 2024 Ceremony

Four MSOC Employees and one JETS II Celebrated

NASA’s Johnson Space Center celebrated this year’s agency honor awards in the Teague Auditorium on May 9, 2024.NASA's most prestigious awards program, agency medals and awards are presented to several government and nongovernment employees, who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the agency's mission. Aerodyne was proud to have a quartet of honorees at this year’s event, including one (Fern Thomassy of JETS II) who earned a pair of awards.


Following is the honor roll of Aerodyne award winners:


Early Career Achievement Medal: This prestigious NASA medal is awarded for unusual and significant performance during the first ten years of an individual’s career in support of the NASA mission. 


  • Abigail Coleman (MSOC) for continuing to advance rapidly in knowledge and contribution to the Mission Control Center’s Specialty Software’s Command Software.


Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal: This prestigious NASA medal is awarded for exceptional engineering contributions toward achieving the NASA mission.


  • Luis Velasquez (MSOC) for the successful development and delivery of critical software essential for payloads and training simulations of the American Segment Trainer.


Exceptional Public Achievement Medal: Awarded to a non-government individual for a significant and specific achievement or substantial improvement in operations, efficiency, service, financial savings, science, or technology which contributes to the mission of NASA.


  • Geetha Alagappan (MSOC) for outstanding and sustained leadership of collaborative efforts supporting critical Virtual Machine Migrations integral to the success of the Artemis I mission. 


  • Delores Veasey (previously MSOC) for exceptional leadership and significant achievements in the security arena to identify and remediate threats and vulnerabilities to operations


Group Achievement Awards: Awarded to a group for outstanding accomplishment through the coordination of many individual efforts which has contributed substantially to the NASA mission. 


  • Fern Thomassy (JETS II) received two awards for his support to the following team efforts:

    • Integrated Performance Team for significant contributions to Integrated Performance analysis and Independent Verification and Validation for the Commercial Crew Program Boeing Crew Flight Test.  

    • Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services (xEVAS) Insight Team for outstanding teamwork, technical knowledge, and leadership in developing and implementing the xEVAS Insight process. mission success. 


You can view the entire ceremony via the following site: Johnson Celebrates 2023 Agency Honor Awards (nasa.gov). Abigail is visible in the second session at 36:12 while Luis follows at 41:18. Geetha was on vacation and did not attend and Delores retired last year.



Abigail Coleman receives Early Career Achievement Medal

(L to R): Dr. Douglas Terrier, JSC Associate Director for Vision and Strategy, Chloe Paz, Abigail Coleman, and Vanessa Wyche, Director, Johnson Space Center.


Abigail Coleman, a Software Engineer and Teammate Principal for MSOC, was honored for continuing to advance rapidly in knowledge and contribution to the Mission Control Center’s Specialty Software’s Command Software.


She graduated from the University of Kentucky with both a Bache-lor of Science and a Master of Science in Computer Science in 2016.


Abigail began her career with Lockheed Martin in Houston that year, joined Aerodyne in 2018 and four years later was named Teammate Principal for MSOC.


Abigail was honored for her work developing Command User Apps and sustaining Command Displays, further expanding her experience with the java-based displays that her Command Team uses. She was the sole software engineer who developed the Orion Abort Application that Ground Control brings up during Artemis flights in case of an anomaly.


Abigail also worked with the command database schemas and procedures through PRB to improve how command reports errors when the database schemas are loaded.


Abigail has received numerous awards, including an MSOC Excellence Award in 2019 for leading a new team to refactor and improve regression testing for the Command Team.


She also received a JSC Group Achievement Award for her efforts on the Mission Control Center (MCC) One Minute Failover Implementation Team.


“It was such an honor to be recognized at such a prestige award program and to be able to stand on a stage by the Director of Johnson Space Center, Vanessa Wyche,” said Abigail. “I was so blessed to be able to share this amazing moment with my fiancé Chloe and this ceremony will definitely be one of those parts of my career that I will never forget.


“I have been lucky throughout my career to work with an amazing team on MSOC/FDOC and to work for such a wonderful company in Aerodyne.”



Luis Velasquez receives Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal

(L to R): Dr. Douglas Terrier, JSC Associate Director for Vision and Strategy, Sylvia Velasquez, Luis Velasquez, and Vanessa Wyche, Director, Johnson Space Center.


Luis Velasquez, a Software Staff Engineer IV for MSOC, was honored for the successful development and delivery of critical software essential for payloads and training simulations of the American Segment Trainer (AST).


As the software developer for the AST, Luis has been recognized with a pair of Excellence Awards for his contributions to the successful delivery of the AST to the European Space Agency (ESA) in Cologne, Germany, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Training Facility.


These deliveries to international partners were crucial milestones for NASA and MSOC and had high visibility from the respective program offices.


Luis made critical updates to the AST stub model software and menus to make the AST system more robust and provided higher fidelity models for the Columbus and JEM modules.


He worked closely with the international operators and instructors from Tsukuba and Cologne to teach them to power up the AST system, run simulations, operate the PCS, and develop and run scripts to create emergency scenarios that could be used to train astronauts at each of the training centers.


Luis has also become the primary developer responsible for making updates to enhance or fix problems in payloads and has been proactively working with personnel in Houston and Mar-shall Space Flight Center (MSFC).


In a short time, Luis learned how the payload model soft-ware is written and organized and has made several modifications that were used to correct problem reports written by payloads personnel in Houston and MSFC.


“It was an honor to receive recognition for all the hard work that my colleagues and I put in for the common goal of providing simulators that will be used to train personnel in the U.S. and overseas,” said Luis. “I felt very proud to represent Aerodyne and to be able to receive the award alongside other Aerodyne team members. 


“Congratulations to all the recipients.”



Geetha Alagappan and Delores Veasey earn Exceptional Public Achievement Medals


Geetha Alagappan, an Engineering Specialist for MSOC, was honored for outstanding and sustained leadership of collaborative efforts supporting critical Virtual Machine Migrations integral to the success of the Artemis I mission. (Since she was on vacation and unable to attend the event, she will receive her award in a special ceremony on June 26.)


For the past few years Geetha has provided exemplary leadership of collaborative efforts to achieve technology infusion critical to the success of the Artemis I mission and other NASA Programs.


On January 18, 2023, Geetha received an Excellence Award for her support to Virtual Machine Migrations for Artemis I. After working several infrastructure related escalated issues in the Mission Control Environment (MCE), the Data Center Working Group (DCWG) prioritized virtual machine migrations to support the upcoming Artemis I mission on the replacement hardware.


Over several months leading up to the launch, Geetha supported more than 35 impacting work plan requests to migrate more than 1,000 virtual machines in the Mission Control Center Systems (MCCS) operational environments. Almost all these work plans were scheduled for after hours and involved extra coordination with the facility and critical personnel as often times many of the systems on the schedule were still supporting an activity.


All of Geetha’s hard work paid off as the last system was migrated on September 16, 2022, in time to support the Artemis I launch, which was eventually postponed until November 16, 2022.


Delores Veasey, who retired as a Security Analyst for Aerodyne Industries in November 2023, was honored for exceptional leadership and significant achievements in the security arena to identify and remediate threats and vulnerabilities to operations and mission success.


Dee’s expertise allowed her to identify security related threats and provide a thorough assessment of the entire security posture for compliance and solutions for remediation of vulnerabilities and potential threats to the environment. She utilized her skills to provide training to other members of her team to keep them abreast of the ever-changing technology.



Fern Thomassy Receives pair of Group Achievement Awards

Genoka and Fern Thomassy (right) touring the Teague lobby at JSC.


Fern Thomassy, a Structural Loads and Dynamics Analyst for the JETS II Contract, was honored twice with Group Achievement Awards for his support to a pair of outstanding teams. 


Fern was recognized for the following:


  • Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services (xEVAS) Insight Team - For outstanding team-work, technical knowledge, and leadership in developing and implementing the xEVAS Insight process. xEVAS will provide Astronauts with next generation spacesuit and spacewalk sys-tems to work outside the International Space Station, explore the lunar surface on Artemis missions, and prepare for human missions to Mars. 


  • Integrated Performance Team - For significant contributions to Integrated Performance anal-ysis and Independent Verification and Validation for the Commercial Crew Program Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT). George James, the Commercial Crew Program Loads and Dynamics Lead, praised Fern and his teammates for this accomplishment: “Without your individual contributions we would not be ready to fly this mission. Thanks for your efforts over the years to get us ready for CFT!” 


“Working in Loads and Dynamics is incredibly diverse and seems to touch everything,” said Fern. “These teams love what they do, enjoy learning from each other, and are especially proud to contribute to human space flight.”

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