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USRA's Louise Prockter receives the prestigious Harold Masursky Award

Columbia, Maryland. June 2, 2017 — Louise M. Prockter, Director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), operated by Universities Space Research Association (USRA) for NASA, has been selected to receive the prestigious Harold Masursky Award for meritorious service to planetary science by the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS).

The Masursky Award was established by the DPS to recognize and honor individuals who have rendered outstanding service to planetary science and exploration through engineering, managerial, programmatic, or public service activities. Named after the famous American geologist and astronomer, Harold Masursky, it is awarded annually or less frequently for accomplishments outside the normal work duties of the nominee. Previous recipients have included notables such as Carl Sagan.

Dr. Nicholas White, Senior Vice President, Science, Universities Space Research Association, said “Congratulations to Louise for this well-deserved and prestigious award recognizing her unselfish service to the planetary science community.”

Internationally recognized in planetary science research, Louise Prockter has been a leader in NASA mission science development, operations, and management. Prior to her current position, she held leadership roles at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (Science Branch Space Sector and at the Planetary Exploration Group. She has served on numerous panels for the National Academy of Sciences and NASA including the Space Studies Board and the Planetary Decadal Survey for 2013-2022, "Vision and Voyages", and she is currently co-chair of the “Vision and Voyages” mid-term review.

The Masursky award, which consists of a certificate and cash, will be presented at the DPS annual meeting in Provo, Utah in October 2017.

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About USRA

Formed in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, Universities Space Research Association is an independent non-profit organization that offers an avenue for government and industry to engage the expertise of the academic community with USRA’s technical leadership, innovative R&D, operational excellence, management of premier facilities, and education programs to advance space- and aeronautics-related sciences and exploration. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations.

About LPI

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), a division of the Universities Space Research Association, was established during the Apollo missions to foster international collaboration and to serve as a repository for information gathered during the early years of the space program. Today, LPI is an intellectual leader in lunar and planetary science. The Institute serves as a scientific forum attracting world-class visiting scientists, postdoctoral fellows, students, and resident experts; supports and serves the research community through newsletters, meetings, and other activities; collects and disseminates planetary data while facilitating the community’s access to NASA science; and engages and excites, and educates the public about space science and invests in the development of future generations of explorers. The research carried out at LPI supports NASA’s efforts to explore the solar system.