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NASA Distinguished Service Medal
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Country United States
Type Medal
Eligibility Government employees only
Awarded for "distinguished service, ability, or courage, [that] has...made a contribution representing substantial progress to aeronautical or space exploration in the interests of the United States"
Status Active
Established July 29, 1959
First awarded 1959
Next (higher) Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Equivalent Distinguished Public Service Medal
Next (lower) Outstanding Leadership Medal
NASA Distinguished Service Ribbon

The NASA Distinguished Service Medal is the highest award which may be bestowed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States. The medal may be presented to any member of the federal government, including both military astronauts and civilian employees.

The NASA Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to those who display distinguished service, ability, or courage, and have personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission. The contribution must be so extraordinary that other forms of recognition would be inadequate.

Typical presentations of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal included awards to senior NASA administrators, mission control leaders, and astronauts who have completed several successful space flights. Due to the prestige of the award, the decoration is authorized for wear on active uniforms of the United States military. Another such authorized decoration is the NASA Space Flight Medal.

Upon the recommendation of NASA, the president may award an even higher honor to astronauts, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

The medal was original awarded by the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics and was inherited by NASA. The first NASA version (type I), featuring the NASA seal, was issued from 1959 until 1961, when it was replaced by the current type II medal (shown). Only three type I medals were awarded—to John W. Crowley, NASA Director of Aeronautical and Space Research; and Mercury astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom.

James Webb's award, 1 November 1968



  • John W. Crowley, Jr. (first award)[1]


  • Alan Shepard (May 8, 1961)
  • Virgil I. Grissom (July 22, 1961)





  • William A. Anders
  • Frank A. Bogart
  • Carroll H. Bolender
  • Frank Borman
  • Robert E. Bourdeau
  • Eugene A. Cernan
  • Roger B. Chaffee
  • John F. Clark
  • Raymond L. Clark
  • Ozro M. Covington
  • Kurt H. Debus
  • Maxime A. Faget
  • Robert R. Gilruth
  • Harry H. Gorman
  • Virgil I. Grissom
  • Hans F. Gruene
  • George H. Hage


  • Edwin E. Aldrin
  • Neil A. Armstrong
  • Alan L. Bean


  • Charles J. Donlan
  • James B. Irwin
  • Vincent L. Johnson
  • Walter J. Kapryan
  • Eugene F. Kranz
  • Bruce T. Lundin

  • Glynn S. Lunney
  • James A. McDivitt
  • Edgar D. Mitchell
  • Bernard Moritz
  • Dale D. Myers
  • Oran W. Nicks

  • Stuart A. Roosa
  • David R. Scott
  • Alan B. Shepard
  • Sigurd A. Sjoberg
  • John W. Townsend
  • Alfred M. Worden



  • Owen K. Garriott
  • Ernst D. Geissler
  • Roy E. Godfrey
  • Robert H. Gray
  • George B. Hardy
  • Robert C. Hock
  • William P. Horton
  • S. Neil Hosenball
  • Roy P. Jackson
  • Richard S. Johnston
  • Joseph P. Kerwin
  • James E. Kingsbury
  • Jack A. Kinzler
  • Kenneth S. Kleinknecht


  • Norman Pozinsky
  • Martin L. Raines
  • Lee R. Scherer
  • John M. Thole
  • Robert F. Thompson


  • Vance D. Brand
  • Robert H. Curtin
  • M. P. Frank
  • Donald P. Hearth
  • Chester M. Lee

  • Glynn S. Lunney
  • Joseph B. Mahon
  • Ellery B. May
  • John L. McLucas
  • William Nordberg


  • Charles J. Donlan
  • Isaac T. Gillam
  • Charles R. Gunn

  • William M. Lohse
  • Charles W. Mathews
  • John J. Neilon

  • Leonard Roberts
  • William R. Schindler


  • Edgar M. Cortright
  • Malcolm R. Currie
  • James C. Fletcher
  • Noel W. Hinners

  • Leonard Jaffe
  • Harriett G. Jenkins
  • Robert S. Kraemer
  • Bruce T. Lundin

  • Hans M. Mark
  • James S. Martin
  • John E. Naugle
  • Henry W. Norris
  • A. Thomas Young


  • Robert H. Curtin
  • Marvin L. McNickle



  • Berrien Moore III


  • Dr. Charles J. Pellerin


  • Gerald M. Smith


  • No awards


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Joseph Philip Loftus Jr. April 2001




  • Lott W. Brantley Jr.
  • G. Scott Hubbard


  • Douglas Hendriksen[7]


  • Walter Cunningham
  • Donn Eisele
  • Fuk Li
  • Walter Schirra
  • E. Myles Standish
  • Richard Sunseri


  • Christopher Scolese[8]
  • Stephanie D. Wilson


  • David K. Alonso
  • Scott D. Altman
  • John M. Grunsfeld
  • Jeffrey M. Hanley

  • John T. James
  • Suresh M. Joshi
  • William H. Kinard
  • Steven J. Ostro


  • Stephen K. Robinson
  • Richard Mushotzky
  • Daniel McCleese
  • Richard Fisher
  • Stephanie D. Wilson
  • James E. Fesmire


  • Mark E. Kelly
  • Alan J. Lindenmoyer
  • David M. Martin, Manager Launch Vehicle Systems Office, Commercial Crew Program [11]
  • Ann McNair
  • Robert R. Meyer
  • Martin G. Mlynczak
  • Philip E. Phillips, Program Manager, Ground Systems Development and Operations Program[11]

  • Craig L. Purdy
  • Daniel C. Reda
  • Joseph Savino
  • Phillip A. Sabelhaus
  • Peter J. Serlemitsos
  • Robert M. Stephens
  • Michael T. Suffredini
  • Richard Zurek

See also

  • List of NASA awards


External links

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