AUBURN – NASA will honor astronaut Thomas K. “TK” Mattingly on March 26 with the Ambassador of Exploration Award for his contributions to the U.S. space program. Mattingly, an Auburn University alumnus, will receive the award in a 1 p.m. ceremony in the Lowe Grand Foyer of Auburn’s Shelby Center for Engineering Technology.
NASA is giving this award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for helping America realize its goal of going to the moon. The award is a moon rock encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The rock is part of the 842 pounds of lunar samples collected during the six Apollo expeditions from 1969 to 1972.