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Quantum’s Publisher awarded NASA medal

On March 25, 1995, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded its Distinguished Public Service Medal to Bill Aldridge, Quantum’s Publisher (1989–96) and the Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) from 1980 until his retirement in 1995.

NASA’s Administrator Daniel S. Goldin surprised Aldridge with the award in the midst of a speech about NASA’s mission at the NSTA National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After explaining the teamwork typified by the space shuttle Discovery’s rendevous with Russia’s Mir space station, Goldin remarked that “it’s not only NASA that had been involved in the international collaboration with the Russians and with our other partners around the world to bring all countries closer together at this time of transition in the world’s history. There’s another person who has made a great impact on society, children, and on the international scene, and that’s Bill Aldridge.”

The Distinguished Public Service Medal is the highest medal that NASA can award to someone who is not part of the agency. It was given to Aldridge “in recognition of your bold vision for science education and the international leadership you have provided throughout your career.”

In remarks after the speech, Goldin said, “We considered a number of things in presenting this award to Bill. It represents a lifetime career of dedication to education. The man is incredible. He has done unique things to communicate NASA’s commitment to education … and not just with American students, but internationally.”

In addition to the medal, Goldin gave Aldridge a crew patch and American flag that had flown aboard Discovery during the Mir rendevous mission.

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