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News | Sept. 19, 2019

Prestigious NASA award for a top quality employee

By Patrick Tremblay DCMA Public Affairs

Kerry Young, a Defense Contract Management Agency quality assurance specialist, was recognized last month by NASA with a Silver Snoopy award for his contributions to the administration’s human space flight program. He is part of the DCMA NASA Product Operations Northrop Grumman Utah team working on the Space Launch System, the world’s biggest and powerful solid rocket motor that will be built. When completed, the SLS will open new possibilities for payloads, including robotic scientific missions to places like the moon, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter.

Air Force Lt. Col. Vue Yang, DCMA NPO NG Utah’s commander, said Young is “a stellar technical leader” who’s regularly touted for his exceptional performance on the SLS program. “Kerry led a joint four member, multi-disciplined team, driving 21 process reviews, which slashed booster manufacturing and operations planning issues by 27%, reducing future costs by $196,000," he said. "In addition, he single handedly performed 177 booster production process reviews, increasing the quality, reliability, safety and performance of the Space Launch System booster during production.”

Young was joined at the Aug. 9 NASA Space Flight Awareness Silver Snoopy Awards ceremony in Promontory by his wife and Yang. His award was presented by astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei, who served as flight engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 53/54 from September 2017 to February 2018.

The Silver Snoopy award is a sterling silver lapel pin that has flown in space on a mission, plus a certificate of appreciation and commendation letter signed by the presenting astronaut.

According to NASA, the award symbolizes the spirit of space flight awareness, and is given to less than 1% of the aerospace program workforce annually. It’s always presented by an astronaut, because it is the astronauts' own award for outstanding performance, contributing to flight safety and mission success.

“I join everyone at DCMA NPO NG Utah in congratulating Kerry on this well-deserved honor,” said Yang. “We have a terrific team here, and are proud to partner with NASA to provide quality assurance and other contract administration support.”