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Spaceflight Meteorology Group's Karl Silverman
Receives two NASA Honors

SMG Lead Forecaster Karl Silverman "Hanging the Plaque" in Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center (Photo: Courtesy of NASA)

(Feb. 27, 2007) -- Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) Lead Forecaster Karl Silverman was honored by NASA in two separate events on Monday, January 22.

Silverman was given the honor of "Hanging the Plaque" in the Mission Control Center during a traditional post-mission ceremony recognizing the December 2006 mission (STS-116) and the astronauts of Space Shuttle Discovery. After each Shuttle mission, NASA's Flight Directors also choose the support group that provided the most outstanding service to Mission Control during the flight. SMG was recognized for STS-116 and Silverman was given the honor of climbing a ladder and hanging the plaque.

Along with NASA Entry Flight Directors Steve Stich and Norm Knight, Silverman was also honored with a JSC Team Award for his work on the STS-116 mission. The award stated: "In recognition of outstanding real time coordination of weather assets for all three Continental United States (CONUS) landing sites leading to a safe landing at the Kennedy Space Center."

Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on the evening of December 9 and landed at KSC on December 22. Weather played a critical role in both the timing of the mission's launch and the location of its landing. Originally scheduled on the 7th, the launch was delayed 48 hours due to weather conditions. It was NASA's first night launch in over four years.

The mission was then extended, leaving only one day to land. Again, weather was a key factor. With two back-up landing sites activated, the first attempt to land at KSC was waved off due to showers. On the next orbit, an attempt to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California was waved off due to crosswinds. With only minutes to spare, SMG advised NASA that conditions were then favorable at KSC, where Discovery landed safely at sunset on December 22.

Other SMG Entry Team members included Assistant Lead Forecaster Tim Oram, Tim Garner (Edwards AFB weather), Richard LaFosse (White Sands, N.M. weather) and Brian Hoeth (upper winds forecaster).

For more information on the Spaceflight Meteorology Group, visit: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/smg. To learn more about NASA's space shuttle program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html.

Karl Silverman and NASA Flight Director Anthony Cecacci pose with STS-116 plaque as Entry Flight Director Steve Stich (white shirt - second from right), Entry Flight Director Norm Knight (white shirt - behind Cecacci) and Space Shuttle Discovery Astronauts (red shirts) look on (Photo: Courtesy of NASA)

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