NASA has awarded Tom Krimigis, a Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory veteran scientist, the space agency’s highest service honor in a ceremony held at NASA Ames Research Center in California.
The NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal recognizes Krimigis’ work to support space exploration programs. It is the agency’s highest form of recognition awarded to any nongovernment individual, whose distinguished service, ability or vision has personally contributed to NASA’s advancement of the nation’s interests.
The recipient’s achievement or contribution must demonstrate a level of excellence that has made such a profound or indelible impact to NASA mission success that other forms of recognition by NASA would be inadequate.
A physicist by training, Krimigis, who emigrated to the United States from the Greek island of Chios where he used to gaze at the stars from his beachfront village, designs scientific instruments for space.
He is the only person in the world who has designed instruments that have gone to every planet in the solar system.
He was honored by the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC with their top award. The video below featuring Dr. Krimigis shares his inspiring story from birth on the island of Chios, through Nazi-occupied Greece and as a student immigrant to the United States.