Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation has received the FY2012 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Thomas H. May Legacy of Excellence Award for its outstanding performance. The annual award recognizes small businesses that have delivered outsized performance to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in support of NASA’s mission. JPL nominated Honeybee for its development of the Dust Removal Tool on board the Mars Science Laboratory.
The Dust Removal Tool is mounted on the rover Curiosity’s end-of-arm turret and is designed to remove the pervasive Martian dust from rocks of interest. This enables more accurate geological analysis and contributes to understanding the history of the Martian environment. In support of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, Honeybee also provided the Sample Manipulation System, the core mechanism for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments on board the rover.
The Thomas H. May award is named after long-time JPL leader Thomas May for his dedication to helping small businesses support NASA’s mission. Mr. May served as the Manager of the Business Opportunities Office and Supplier Diversity Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for over three decades, where he championed the value, agility and technical excellence that small businesses could bring to NASA.
The award will be presented to Honeybee at the 25th Annual NASA/JPL High-Tech Small Business Conference on March 5, 2013 in Los Angeles.