Come to the 

Federation of Galaxy Explorers

Click Here to go to the Galaxy Ball 2008

Last year's event was held on June 2nd, 2007

at the Westin Hotel, 1400 M Street, N.W. Washington, DC (formerly Wyndham Hotel)

Join our Master of Ceremonies Mr. Lon Rains in recognizing leaders in the space industry and our most dedicated volunteers.  Come join us for a wonderful evening under the stars!

Check out the 2006 Galaxy Ball

Meet Our Gala Sponsors!

Our 2007 Space Leadership Award recipient

NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations

Mr. William H. Gerstenmaier

William H. Gerstenmaier is the Associate Administrator for Space Operations. In this position, Gerstenmaier directs NASA's human exploration of space. He also has programmatic oversight for the international space station, space shuttle, space communications and space launch vehicles. Formerly Gerstenmaier was the program manager of the International Space Station Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and was responsible for the overall management, development, integration, and operation of the International Space Station.

In 1977, Gerstenmaier began his NASA career at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, performing aeronautical research. He was involved with the wind tunnel tests that were used to develop the calibration curves for the air data probes used during entry on the space shuttle.

Beginning in 1988, Gerstenmaier headed the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV) Operations Office, Systems Division at Johnson Space Center, where he was responsible for all aspects of OMV operations. Subsequently, he headed Space Shuttle/Space Station Freedom Assembly Operations Office, Operations Division and was Chief, Projects and Facilities Branch, Flight Design and Dynamics Division.

Gerstenmaier also served as Shuttle/Mir Program Operations Manager from 1995 to 1997. During this time he was the primary liaison to the Russian Space Agency for operational issues and negotiated all protocols used in support of operations during the Shuttle/Mir missions. In addition, he supported NASA 2 operations from Russia, January-September 1996.

In 1998, Gerstenmaier became manager of Space Shuttle Program Integration, where he was responsible for the overall management, integration, and operations. In December 2000, he was named deputy manager of the International Space Station Program.

Gerstenmaier received a bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1977 and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo in 1981. In 1992 and 1993, he completed course work for a doctorate in dynamics and control with emphasis in propulsion at Purdue University.

Gerstenmaier is the recipient of numerous awards, including three NASA Certificates of Commendation, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, a Senior NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives. He also was honored with an Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award from Purdue University. Additionally, he twice by Aviation Week and Space for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Space.

He is married to the former Marsha Ann Johnson. They have two children.

Our 2007 Space Education Inspiration Award recipient


Dr. Louis D. Friedman

Executive Director, Planetary Society

When Louis Friedman helped co-found The Planetary Society, he brought to his position as Executive Director a wealth of experience in the space exploration community, including 10 years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and five at AVCO Space Systems Division. He has been a guiding force with the Society for over 20 years and remains as excited as ever about humanity’s journey into the solar system.

Friedman is a native New Yorker, raised in the Bronx and passionately committed to his hometown baseball team, the New York Yankees.

His college career began when Sputnik launched the space age. Friedman earned a B.S. in applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin in 1961, followed by an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics at Cornell University in 1963. He earned his Ph.D. from the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at M.I.T. in 1971 with a thesis on Extracting Scientific Information from Spacecraft Tracking Data.

From 1963-1968, Friedman worked at the AVCO Space Systems Division on both civilian and military space programs. The following decade, 1970-1980, found him at JPL, involved in planning deep space missions. His projects included Mariner-Venus-Mercury, the Grand Tour (Voyager), Venus Orbital Imaging Radar (Magellan), Halley Comet Rendezvous-Solar Sail, and the Mars Program.

In 1978-79, Friedman went to Washington, DC as the AIAA Congressional Fellow and worked on the staff of the subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He frequently returns to Washington, DC to testify to Congress regarding important issues concerning the space science community and the members of The Planetary Society.

Our 2007 Space Achievement Award recipient


Mr. Gil Klinger

Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Technical Collection/Means

Gil Klinger is Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Technical Collection/Means. Klinger is a native of New York and a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Albany with an undergraduate degree in european history and political science. He received his Master's degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of government at Harvard University.

Mr. Klinger’s career in government service began with his competitive selection to the Presidential Management Internship Program within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). In his following assignments he served as staff assistant, Deputy Director for Strategic Forces Policy within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where he was responsible for proposing several significant modifications to U.S. nuclear targeting policy and warplans.

From 1989 to early 1991, Klinger was the manager of a DoD-wide team responsible, as then Secretary of Defense Cheney Described it, for “the most comprehensive and in-depth study of nuclear targeting ever initiated by this department. The results of that review have had n enduring impact on U.S. nuclear targeting, force structure, and arms control positions.” For his actions in that assignment, Klinger was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the highest award given to civil servants within the Department of Defense (DoD). Klinger next served as the director for Space and Advanced Technology Strategy within the Office of Under Secretary for Policy. While in that assignment in 1994, Klinger played the leading role within the OSD staff for a DoD-wide review of national security space management. Specifically, he played the pre-eminent role in catalyzing the fundamental reorganization of the OSD staff responsibilities that resulted in the creation of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space (DUSD/Space) organization.

Klinger served as the Acting DUSD/Space within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology until June, 1998. He also held the permanent position of Principal Assistant (DUSD/Space). As acting DUSD/Space, Klinger was responsible for development and implementation oversight of all space matters within the DoD and for oversight of space systems acquisitions and space architecture development. For his accomplishments in these positions, Klinger received the 1997 Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award, one of the two highest awards given to civil servants within the U.S. government.

From June, 1998 until mid-April, 2002, Klinger was the director of Policy at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). There, he was a key member of the senior leadership team, and responsible for a number of significant changes and accomplishments affecting the NRO, and the overall management and future direction of the National Space Reconnaissance Program. From April, 2002 until July, 2005, Klinger was the director of Space Policy on the National Security Council Staff (NSC). He was lead member of the Executive Office of the President on all intelligence, defense, civil, and commercial space issues. He managed an interagency review of National Space Policies directed by the President. He is the principal author of five new national space policies, including the first new U.S. space exploration vision in more then a generation. Klinger has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 1992, and a member of the Senior Intelligence Service since 1999.


James E. Haywood Award for Excellence


The Federation's James E. Haywood Award for Excellence is presented to the volunteer who demonstrated superior performance in three areas: organizational skills; dedication; and hard work.  This volunteer uses superior organizational skills to develop the organization in an inclusive fashion that welcomes and utilizes all participants.  In addition, this person demonstrates dedication to the cause of educating children in science and engineering and the willingness to support that dedication through hard work.  


The award is named after Col. James E. Haywood, USAF, for using those same characteristics to develop and expand the U.S. Air Force space program. Col. Haywood's pioneering approach had a deep and lasting influence on the Federation and serves as an inspiration to us all. 


Standard Ticket $140 

Reception begins 6:30 pm 


VIP Ticket $220 

Reception begins 6:30 pm 


Support our Educational Efforts through Cash Donations


Special donations will receive program acknowledgements and tickets: 


Galaxy Sponsor ($3,000) Full-page program acknowledgment, Event floor display space, Free "Mission Log" magazine add space, web page recognition, press release, and One Table (10 VIP tickets)


Galaxy Sponsor $3000 


Solar System Sponsor ($2,500) Half-page program acknowledgment, Free "Mission Log" magazine add space, web page recognition, and One Table (10 VIP tickets)


Planetary Sponsor($2,400) Quarter page program acknowledgment, web page recognition, and One VIP Table (10 VIP tickets)


Sponsoring Member($1,500) Program acknowledgment, web page recognition, and one table (10 Standard Tickets)


The Federation of Galaxy Explorers is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization Donations and a portion of the ticket price are tax deductible.  

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