Galaxy Ball 2009

Join us on June 6th at the Arlington Westin Gateway Hotel when the Federation of Galaxy Explorers hosts the Galaxy Ball, an annual gala to recognize leaders in the space industry, exceptional member achievements, and our volunteers. You do not have to be a member to come, just be prepared to have a good time! Come early to mingle and check out our fantastic silent auction (roundtrip plane tickets, anyone?) before sitting down for an exquisite dinner. After our award presentations, these rocket scientists will be out on the dance floor! It is a great event for forging business relationships with clients, or to make like-minded friends, all while supporting an important cause.

This year is a special one as we celebrate the International Year of Astronomy recognizing the 400th anniversary since Galileo turned his telescope on the heavens. Join our Master of Ceremonies Mr. Lon Rains and Mr. Bill Nye "The Science Guy" for a wonderful Tuscan evening under the stars!

Meet Our Gala Sponsors!

Pete Wilhelm

Space Leadership Award

Mr. Peter Wilhelm Director of the Naval Center for Space Technology (NCST) at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

Mr. Wilhelm, who has directed the NCST since its inception in 1986, has been with NRL since 1959. Under his direction, NCST and the Navy have achieved numerous successes and "firsts" in space including the first Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite and the highly successful Clementine Deep Space Mission, which demonstrated the capability of, and has become the model for, low-cost, high-value space exploration. Mr. Wilhelm's achievements include contributions to the design, development and operation of 87 scientific and fleet-support satellites.

Mr. Wilhelm began his career in 1957 as an electrical engineer with Stewart Warner Electronics where he was assigned to a project to redesign the UPM-70, a Navy radar test set. In March 1959, he joined NRL as an electronics engineer in the Electronics Division. In December 1959, he joined the Satellite Techniques Branch; in 1961, he became head of the Satellite Instrument Section; in 1965, he became head of the Satellite Techniques Branch; and in 1974, he was designated head of the Spacecraft Technology Center. In these positions, he has performed satellite system design, equipment development, environmental testing, launch operations, and orbital data handling. In 1981, Mr. Wilhelm was named the superintendent of the Space Systems and Technology Division. In October 1986, he was appointed director of the newly-established NCST, the Navy's lead laboratory for space.

Mr. Wilhelm has been recognized with numerous awards including the Navy's Meritorious Senior Executive Award; the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Aerospace and Electronic Systems Group's Man of the Year Award; NRL's E. O. Hulburt Annual Science and Engineering Award; the Robert Dexter Conrad Award; the Rotary National Stellar Award; the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award; the Presidential Rank, Meritorious Executive Award; and the Roger L. Easton Award for Engineering Excellence. Recently, he received the Department of Defense's Distinguished Civilian Service Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Miles O'Brien

2009 Space Education Inspiration Award

Mr. Miles O'Brien is a broadcast news journalist specializing in aviation, space and technology.

Based in New York City, he served as CNN's chief technology and environment correspondent for 16 years. He was also the network’s space and aviation correspondent and an occasional stand-in anchor. He anchored The Situation Room on November 26, 2008, covering the terrorist attack in Mumbai on the Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal Hotels, as well as several other locations.

During his 16-year tenure at CNN, he anchored several news and talk programs, including Science and Technology Week, Saturday Morning, Sunday Morning, TalkBack Live, Headline News Primetime, Live From... and, most recently, American Morning.

Mr. O'Brien may be best known for his coverage of the US space program. In February 2003, he led the networks coverage of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Days before the disaster, (and after years of negotiations) CNN and NASA had reached an agreement that would have made O’Brien the first journalist to fly to low earth orbit on the space shuttle to visit the International Space Station.

Mr. O'Brien also covered the repair missions to the Hubble Space Telescope; the shuttle dockings at Mir; the launch of the first space station crew from Kazakhstan; several robotic landings on Mars and the private sector endeavors of Burt Rutan and others.

In October 1998, he co-anchored CNN’s coverage of John Glenn’s return to space with broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite.

In 2000, he produced, shot and wrote a one-hour documentary on the process of readying a space shuttle for flight. "Terminal Count: What it Takes to Make the Space Shuttle Fly" aired in May 2001.


See our previous gala events:

Galaxy Ball 2008: Award Winners: Honorable Senator Barbara Mikulski, Member of Congress; Mr. Bill Nye, "The Science Guy".

Galaxy Ball 2007 Award Winners: NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations. William Gerstenmaier. Dr. Louis Friedman; Executive Director, Planetary Society.

Galaxy Ball 2006: Award Winners: NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. USECAF (Space) Dr. Ronald M. Sega.

Galaxy Ball 2005: Award Winners: Honorable Robert S. Walker, former Member of Congress, Chairman House Science Committee. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, New York Museum of Natural History, Rose Center


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($1,600) 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. For Galaxy Ball Information please contact Ms. Sharon Sirkis: ; (877) 761-1266. 




Sponsorship Form



Copyright (C) (R) Galaxy Explorers, Inc. 2001-2009. Questions and comments should be mailed to the webmaster at .