The president of The Boeing Company's Space and Communications Group, Jim Albaugh, has become only the second non-Russian ever to be awarded the prestigious "Blue Planet" medal by the Russian Space Agency (RASA). The medal, presented for significant contribution in development of cooperation between Boeing and Russian aerospace industry, was awarded at a private ceremony after the Farnborough International Air Show.
"I am very proud to award Jim this medal for his significant contribution in business between Boeing and Russia's aerospace industry, including the International Space Station (ISS) project," said Yuri Koptev, RASA General Director.
As prime U.S. contractor for the ISS, Boeing worked closely with Russia's Khrunichev Space Center to build the station's first module, Zarya. Albaugh's Seal Beach, Calif.-based Boeing unit also worked closely with Russian contractors to integrate Russia's first major contribution, the service module Zvezda, which last week successfully docked with the ISS, clearing the way for continued ISS assembly.
Additionally, Boeing has worked with Russia's Energia Rocket Space Corporation on the Sea Launch program, and with several Russian research institutes for scientific projects.
Previous recipients of RASA's "The Blue Planet" medals have been Russian rocket designers and aerospace company leaders for their respective significant contributions in development of the industry.