The Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition) today announced veteran aerospace communicators Lon Rains of Northrop Grumman and Mary Engola of Ball Aerospace will lead the Coalition in 2012. Rains and Engola will serve as the new chair and deputy chair, respectively. Each will serve a one-year term, effective January through December 2012.
The Coalition for Space Exploration is a group of space industry businesses and organizations collaborating to ensure that the United States remains the leader in space, science and technology. By reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the nation’s leaders, the Coalition intends to build lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for space exploration. Through marketing, communications and outreach efforts, the Coalition highlights the benefits of a robust American space program.
Rains will chair the Coalition this year after serving as deputy chair in 2011. Rains works as the sector director of strategic communications for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Manhattan Beach, Calif. He was a member of the founding staff of Space News and served as that publication’s editor for 15 years. He is a recognized space expert and has made appearances on noted television shows, including CNN Prime News, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. He was the 2009 recipient of the National Space Club’s Media Award.
“Now more than ever, the Coalition’s mission is fundamentally important to our nation,” said Rains. “Our space exploration program is at a critical stage right now. As a Coalition, we intend to advance the dialogue surrounding the importance of space exploration to our country and to our ability to compete and lead on a global level.”
Engola, Coalition 2012 deputy chair, has been an active member since the Coalition’s inception in 2004. She served as the Coalition’s 2008 chair and in 2009 she led the Multimedia & Grassroots subcommittee. She is currently the manager of customer and industry relations at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.Engola is a vibrant leader who serves in numerous professional organizations and leadership roles within Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation.
“I am honored to serve in the Coalition leadership, because I believe in the Coalition’s mission to broaden support for space exploration,” said Engola. “As the country reevaluates its economic priorities, the Coalition will strive to ensure space exploration remains a national imperative.”
Through effective outreach, the Coalition fosters a national conversation about space exploration among the leadership of member organizations, with other space-related organizations, NASA, legislators and the general public.