Industry veteran recognized with space agency’s highest award for non-government employees
DENVER, May 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Voyager Space, a global leader in space exploration, today announced Jeffrey Manber, its President of International and Space Stations, has been named a recipient of NASA’s 2023 Distinguished Public Service Medal, which is awarded to individuals who, by distinguished service, ability or vision, have personally contributed to NASA’s advancement of United States’ interests. The award was presented to Manber during a ceremony in the Teague Auditorium at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on May 16.
Manber, who co-founded Nanoracks, now a Voyager Space company, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board, received this esteemed award for his ongoing contributions over the years to the commercial space industry, specifically for his exceptional leadership in pioneering the development of commercial services in low-Earth orbit (LEO), furthering NASA’s goal of developing a commercial economy in space.
For more than 20 years, Jeff has played an exceptional role in the vanguard of efforts to develop a robust, commercially-driven economy aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and in LEO. As described in the award citation, “he is uniquely deserving of this recognition for his decades of leadership in the pursuit of continued U.S. leadership in space, and in developing the foundation for the nascent commercial economy in LEO.”
Manber’s contributions to the growing space ecosystem are significant. As noted in the citation, he was among the first to attempt to develop a commercially-operated platform in LEO as the head of MirCorp in the 1990s, and was the first to approach NASA in 2009 about his company, Nanoracks, developing and operating their own commercial research hardware. The first platforms included standardized science boxes and mixture tubes. The company then expanded to be the first provider of commercial cubesat deployments from the ISS. Following customer demand, Manber directed the company to develop, launch, and operate the Bishop Airlock, the first, and still only, permanent, commercial platform added to the ISS. This visionary approach, which began years before NASA had developed its own strategic goal of enabling the development of a commercial economy in LEO, with NASA as one of many customers, has paved the way for many other companies to operate in similar fashion.
In his current role at Voyager Space, Manber is critical to the development of Starlab, a continuously crewed, free-flying, commercial space station to serve NASA, space agencies, and commercial users around the globe. He leads Voyager’s strategy for establishing relationships with international partners as the Company continues to pursue global cooperation in the expansive and evolving space industry. Manber is also widely recognized as a leader and advocate not only for the new space industry, but also for NASA’s stakeholders in Congress and the White House, having been instrumental in enabling broad acceptance of NASA’s commercial goals.
“We are elated that Jeff has been honored with this prestigious award from NASA as he has led and continues to lead a remarkable career in the space industry,” said Dylan Taylor, CEO and Chairman, Voyager Space. “Jeff’s work with the ISS during his tenure at Nanoracks is just one of the many reasons we wanted him to join our team at Voyager Space and continue on his commercial space legacy with Starlab and our current projects aboard the ISS. Congrats Jeff on this incredible honor. We look forward to seeing what you accomplish next.”
Manber was honored alongside Bernardo Patti, Manager of International Space Station Operations at ESA, who ran the space station program for Europe.
About Voyager Space
Voyager Space (Voyager) is a space technology company dedicated to building a better future for humanity in space and on Earth. With nearly 20 years of spaceflight heritage and over 1550 successful missions as of May 2023, Voyager delivers space station infrastructure and services and technology solutions to commercial users, civil and national security government agencies, academic and research institutions, and more, with the goal to accelerate a sustainable space economy.
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