The National Space Club Florida Committee Space Worker Hall of Fame honors those who made significant contributions to our space program in the categories of Human Spaceflight Advancement, Space Flight Support, Space Launch Technology, or Space Flight Advocacy and Education.
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Human Space Flight Advancement
William C. (Bill) Dowdell
Bill Dowdell is Technical Operations Director and Chief of the Mission Management Office for KSC. On launch day, he also serves as the ISS launch manager. Bill has worked for NASA since 1989, starting with Shuttle then KSC’s Space Station Hardware Integration Office. Bill graduated from Fairmont State College (WV) and WVU
Space Flight Support
Liz’s favorite accomplishment was being a member of the Shuttle return crew that accompanied the Space Shuttles return home to KSC, atop the 747 aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base in California. Crowds would be waiting at the various bases they would land at to refuel, cheering at the sight of seeing the Shuttle. She is so proud to be a part of American history.
Stu started his career on the Eastern Range working for CSR Downrange Support. With some of the best fishing anywhere, he never missed an opportunity to go to Antigua or Ascension; just to make sure construction was progressing on schedule. Since the flights were once a week, there was time for some good fishing during the day, and fish fries and festivities at night. 9/11 brought Stu to the JBOSC Contract to help oversee the implementation of heightened security measures across the Cape and KSC. He quickly realized that he found himself a new home at KSC. He has continued to work in the Engineering and Project Management arena ever since, helping to keep the plan running, and paving the way for the new programs.
Matt joined the Eastern Range team in 1992 as Pad Safety Supervisor, and worked significantly with the Poseidon and Trident programs and the heritage Delta II, Atlas II and Atlas IIAS programs. In 2001, Matt assumed management responsibilities for the CCAFS Pad Safety organization, up until November 2018. He most enjoyed working with the many range user safety teams and Range Safety to ensure safe launches from the Eastern Range. He would like to thank his wife Elizabeth for her unwavering support and sacrifice throughout his Safety career.
Space Launch Technology
Michael W. Chappell
As the 3rd generation in his family blessed with serving the nation’s space program, Mike has had the privilege of working alongside some of KSC’s finest and has been mentored by many iconic leaders. With the support from his loving family, he has worn many hats throughout his career, from Test Conductor for Atlantis and Ares-IX Flow Manager, to Associate PM for TOSC supporting NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program, Mike is humbled to be part of such an amazing team.
Les worked the Shuttle Program including manufacturing, assembly, test, launch, and recovery at KSC and Edwards. After 100+ launches, he was recruited to the commercial sector and then to Raytheon at JSC. Les now works with RS&H as the Aerospace Market Leader. He earned his BS and MS degrees from Embry-Riddle. Les serves as an AIAA Director and on several committees: ASTM F47, ASTM Propellants, and Commercial Spaceports.
Ralph W. Rohloff
Ralph began his career with Unisys and then USA supporting the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs. He currently serves as Program Manager for Aerodyne Industries and Director of Command & Control Systems on the Test Operations and Support Contract. A Master Black Belt and Project Management Professional with an MBA, Ralph received NASA’s Outstanding Public Leadership Medal in 2015. He and his wife Charlotte live in Cocoa; they have three grown children: Matthew, Ryan, and Victoria
Randy started at KSC in 1983 in the Launch Processing System, where he supported Space Shuttle launches from the Firing Room. He moved to IT Security in 2000 for United Space Alliance, assessing all of the launch systems. Randy is currently the TOSC IT Security Manager. He lives in Rockledge with his wife, Gail; and they have two grown daughters.
Space Flight Advocacy and Education
Diane came to the ISS National Lab with 25 years of expertise in the field of education. She is part of the team there and has been responsible for creating the initial Education Strategic Plan, and establishing and managing a broad spectrum of space-related STEM programs for students, educators and the public, reaching over 5,000,000 people annually. Diane holds an MA in Education from UCF and lives in Melbourne.
Chairman of Citizens for Space Exploration, a grassroots organization advocating US leadership in space, Joe is a NASA Space Flight Awareness award recipient, an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, and a member of Congressman Bill Posey’s Space Advisory Committee. He is very grateful to his family, especially his wife, Robin, and son, Stephen, for their support to Citizens and space advocacy.
Jerry graduated and received his Master’s Degree from Northwest Missouri. He joined PRC at KSC, where he was responsible for the development and activation of life sciences research and flight experiment support capabilities. After joining Bionetics, he directed ground support for over 2000 flight experiments covering 130 Space Shuttle Missions as well as providing hardware design and mission integration for over 50 spaceflight experiments. He served as the Chair of the NSCFL, Chairman of the Board for the Florida Space Research Institute, and is a recipient of the NASA Public Service Medal. Jerry lives on the Space Coast with his wife Marilyn. They have two children, Megan and Justin, and two grandchildren, Sebastian and Saylor.
LaDonna performed an essential role for the NSCFL as the Administrative Assistant to the Chair, the Board and Committees for more than 10 years. She worked tirelessly, establishing new processes and procedures while the Club was active in new events and growing in stature. She ensured actions were completed, the minutes were published, and luncheons/events were coordinated, leaving no detail undone. LaDonna was very professional in her duties and really set the standard for the Club. One of the Club’s principle activities, Space Day/Destination Space, promotes STEM to inspire the next generation of explorers. LaDonna organized Club volunteers and coordinated details with the Brevard School Foundation. She was instrumental in the Club raising funds from company leaders, Club members, and others resulting in $250,000 to bring more than 60,000 6th grade students through the KSCVC. This is one example of her legacy but her imprint is synonymous with the NSCFL. LaDonna’s wonderful husband, Dennis, has been by her side to support many of these activities.