The NBAA Meritorious Service Award was established to recognize extraordinary lifelong professional contributions to aviation, and few fit within those parameters like Gene Cernan. As a member of arguably the most exclusive fraternity on this or any other world, he flew into space three times over his 13 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Exploration of the Moon
Next year will mark the fortieth anniversary of man first setting foot on the Moon. Back in the early 1970s it was all systems go for human exploration of space but somehow the momentum was lost, and other priorities took over. Just maintaining an orbital presence above the Earth has been full of challenges with Space Shuttle failures and delays to the International Space Station.