Aerospace Engineering Professor Hans Mark from The University of Texas at Austin will be honored for his contributions to the U.S. military space program at the annual meeting of the American Astronautical Society.

Mark will receive the 2006 Military Astronautics Award on November 14 at the society’s meeting in Pasadena, Calif.

A member of the university’s Cockrell School of Engineering since 1988, Mark’s leadership positions have included serving as the undersecretary and secretary of the U.S. Air Force. As U.S. Air Force secretary from 1979 to 1981, Hans initiated the construction of what is now called Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. The base serves as the principal control facility for U.S. Air Force space command.

Mark also directed the National Reconnaissance Office during that time, and was responsible for building satellites and managing the U.S. satellite reconnaissance program.

In 1981, Mark was appointed deputy administrator of NASA. He supervised the first 13 space-shuttle flights during his three years in the position, as well as the country’s initial involvement in the International Space Station Program.

His national service also includes being director of NASA’s Ames Research Center from 1969 to 1977. And Mark directed Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense from 1998 to 2001 while on leave from the university. As such, he was the chief technical advisor to the secretary of defense regarding defense research, development, testing, and evaluation.

Mark was named chancellor of the University of Texas System in 1984, and served in that position until 1992. The current holder of the John J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering joined the aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics faculty full time at The University of Texas at Austin in 1992.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Mark serves as an expert on national defense policy, while studying spacecraft and aircraft design, and the development of electromagnetic railguns. His previous awards include the 1999 George E. Haddaway Medal for Achievement in Aviation.

This article was originally published by the Cockrell School of Engineering.