Buzz Aldrin & CSA Honors The Traveling Space Museum


Ivor Dawson, Dr. Paula Avredson and Dr. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin

The surprise appearance of Buzz Aldrin at the California Space Authority’s 2008 SpotBeam Awards Dinner in Los Angeles added a little more star power and excitement to a gathering of space science superstars on the evening of November 19, 2008. It was especially meaningful to Traveling Space Museum members when its founder, Ivor Dawson, was presented with the "Buzz Aldrin Space Education and Workforce Award" by the illustrious moonwalker himself!

The California Space Authority (CSA) is a state agency dedicated to promoting the preeminence of California in aerospace technology. Founded by former Congressperson, Andrea Seastrand, CSA’s member companies represents all of the major aerospace contractors and counsels California governor, the state legislature and the military on space and technology issues. Every year, CSA grants "SpotBeam Awards" to key space stakeholders who make extraordinary contributions to California's leadership in the United States and international space arenas. Previous winners of the "Buzz Aldrin Award" were Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut and Lockheed-Martin Space Systems. This year, the SpotBeam Awards dinner was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Proud Bird Restaurant near LAX.

In introducing Ivor Dawson to the 400 aerospace executives and Air Force personnel in attendance, Dr. Paula Avredson of CSA’s California Education and Workforce Institute said the following: "The Buzz Aldrin Space Education and Workforce Award" is presented to the Traveling Space Museum (TSM), which has been bringing the adventure of space to California students since 1998. Created with Hollywood prop vehicles, TSM brings full-scale and fully functional simulators into schools and uses them as teaching tools as a way to inspire students to study science and math curricula. Through the work of Mr. Ivor Dawson, TSM’s Founder and President, TSM is now being introduced to all California Teacher Education for the Advancement of a Multicultural Society (TEAMS) AmeriCorps teachers."

In accepting the Award, Dawson thanked CSA and acknowledged National University of San Diego and AIAA-LA for nominating TSM. Dawson thanked Lockheed–Martin VP, Gail Rymer for her part in securing TSM’s founding grant. Ms. Rymer, in from the east coast in support of Dawson and TSM was part of the large Lockheed-Martin contingent present that evening. Dawson saluted Buzz Aldrin as "belonging to history as well as the future —just as the "Buzz Aldrin Award" is about the future." He then invited the audience to "meet the future" — referring to three teenage TSM Proteges seated at the TSM Table. Buzz Aldrin and others met and congratulated Elizabeth and Sean Clemmons and Muhammad Baksh–all multiple science competition winners and all bound for careers in science. (See TSM web site Home Page stories regarding TSM Proteges: "TSM Kid Wins Scholarship..." "TSM Kids Strike Gold Again" and "TSM Protege Graduates Air Force Academy." Also, click on the link below for LA Daily News article reprint of Proege story.

Los Angeles Daily News - 3/29/06

TSM Proteges, the only students present, enjoy a rare school night out.

PayPal billionaire and Space–X founder, Elon Musk was given the "Space Innovation Award" for the successful launch of his Falcon I rocket in September 2008. The "Leadership Award" went to California Lt. Governor John Garamendi. Two California native astronauts, Dr. James H. Newman and Col. Rex J. Walheim were inducted into the California Astronaut Hall of Fame.


Buzz congratulates Elizabeth & Sean Clemmons on their many successes.

Another high point for Team TSM was the presentation of the "Space Science Award" to Dr. Edward Stone, the former Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director and Mission Director of the Voyager Deep Space Probes. The two Voyager probes ––launched in the early 1970s ––continue to send back data from beyond the solar system! In accepting the award, Dr. Stone brought his entire team of Voyager Mission Directors to the stage for acknowledgement.

Several TSM advisors have had long associations with "The Lab." Thanks to JPL Research Analyst and TSM Advisor, Dr. Richard Shope, JPL just renewed an agreement that lends an eight-foot tall Cal Tech built "Pluto Probe" simulator to TSM through 2010. Since 2006, the "Pluto Probe" has been a hit with students across the country —most of whom believe that Pluto should remain classified as a planet.

The party was over for the Proteges around 10:30 pm. That’s understandable, since the event was held on a school night!


Dr. Edward Stone thanks CSA for the "Space Science Award."


LA County Aviation Commissioner (and JPL engineer), Clint Simmons with DoD and NAACP executive, Sharon Garrett at the TSM table.