RCSP Team Leader Tim Pickens and Dynetics Engineer Steve Mustaikis Receive Awards at ISDC

June 06, 2011:

Tim Pickens, team leader of the Rocket City Space Pioneers, and Steve Mustaikis, also of Dynetics, were honored recently for their contributions to the Space Industry with awards at the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2011’s National Space Symposium (NSS) and the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5) Awards Dinner. ISDC, the annual space conference hosted by NSS, was held in Huntsville May 18-22.

Mustaikis, a propulsion engineer at Dynetics, received the HAL5 Flame Award. According to Yohon Lo, president of HAL5, the local chapter of NSS, the HAL5 Flame Award is given to a HAL5 member who has helped the club achieve its goals and aspirations. “The 2011 HAL5 Flame Award was given to Steve for his long-time support of the HAL5 Project High Altitude Lift-Off (HALO) and his educating new engineers on the fundamentals of rocketry and hybrid propulsion,” said Lo, who was also co-chair of this year’s conference. “Steve is one of the original members of Project HALO team and has accepted the responsibility of hosting the Project HALO workshop at his garage since 2003.”

Pickens, who was Mustaikis’ employer at Orion Propulsion, the company Dynetics purchased from Pickens in 2009, said: “I’ve known Steve for more than 20 years. He is one of the most talented designers and propulsion engineers I have ever seen. It has been an honor to work with him. He is very technically grounded and no-nonsense. He is well-deserving of this award. Having performed some of the volunteer tasks that Steve has undertaken, I understand and appreciate the talent and tenacity required to lead a team of volunteers to achieve cool projects.”  Pickens said Mustaikis was one of the key technical pillars of Orion Propulsion who helped the company succeed and ultimately achieve a successful exit strategy in 2009.

Pickens was awarded “The Crystal Pyramid” at ISDC 2011’s NSS and HAL5 Awards Dinner. This is an award given to speakers and other individuals who have gone out of their way to help with and/or who have done extraordinary things relating to the conference and/or the NSS.  Debbie Cohen, chair of the Public Affairs Committee for NSS, said, “I think it goes without saying that Dynetics’ support as a conference sponsor and, most particularly, Tim’s attendance at, participation in and support of the conference and the mission of the National Space Society was absolutely instrumental in the overall success of the conference.”

Cohen said of Pickens, “Personally, I believe he is clearly one of the rising stars of the ‘NewSpace’ industry and, in my opinion, is playing a major role in bringing new, young blood to the Space Community as a whole and to the Society, in particular.”

Pickens and Mustaikis, along with several other Dynetics employees, have been members of HAL5 for years. The local chapter of NSS received the Chapter of the Year award at ISDC.


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