Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) executive Doug Hurley, former NASA astronaut and Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by Vice President Kamala Harris for his significant contributions to the nation’s space programs, including human exploration and scientific innovation. Retiring from NASA in 2021, Hurley continues his service in space exploration as Northrop Grumman’s director of business development for the company’s propulsion systems business unit.
In 1969, Congress authorized the creation of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor to recognize “any astronaut who in the performance of his duties has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind.” (In later years, the addition of “or her/or herself” recognized the addition of women to the astronaut corps.)
Despite “Congressional” being in the title of the award, the NASA Administrator actually nominates the potential recipients, who then receive the award from the sitting president in Congress’s name. Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to set foot on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969, and the commander of Gemini 8 in 1966, was one of the first six recipients awarded the medal on October 1, 1978, by President Jimmy Carter.
Read more about Doug’s career at NASA and his transition to Northrop Grumman’s Space Systems business.