International Space Safety Pioneer award given to top Air and Space Forces civilian

  • Published
  • By Jessie Perkins

The International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety has selected Dr. Mark Glissman, the Chief of Air and Space Forces Space Safety as the recipient of the IAASS Jerome Lederer Space Safety Pioneer Award for 2021.
The award is given to recognize professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to space safety. Named in honor of J. Lederer, the father of aviation safety, and former director of the NASA Office of Manned Spaceflight Safety following the tragic Apollo one fire.
“Space safety is paramount to the population of the globe.  If we do not protect space, we lose important things like surveillance, weather forecasts, communications, use of credit cards, use of cellphones, and everything on that list that will continue to grow,” said Glissman. “Assuring access to space is a national priority, and we take great pride in being a part of keeping space safe.” 
As the top space safety professional for the Air and Space Forces, Glissman’s career has spanned for decades and it all started with a fascination for space in the era of the first Apollo landings. 
His career first started as an Army Ranger in safety and space based technology, “I knew from the start how important these space assets were to myself, and the community at large in keeping us safe not only in space, but here on the planet.” 
Glissman went on to become a space and missile operator in the Air Force ensuring operations, assets and personnel remained safe secure and reliable. Eventually, he retired from his combined military career and  returned as a civil servant to oversee space safety for the Air Force. In 2020, he stood up the entire space safety program for the Air and Space Forces combined which he now laments as his greatest career accomplishment. 
Air Force Chief of Safety Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt said, “This is an extraordinary honor for Dr. Glissman and illustrates the undeniable role the Air Force Safety Center plays in space safety for the U.S. and around the world. Recognition by the IAASS spotlights the outstanding work the Space Safety Division has done and will continue to do for the services and for the Department of Defense.”
Glissman added, “It is a great honor; however, I do not consider it an individual award as I could not accomplish what I do without standing on the great shoulders of my family, friends, and staff.”
As the Air and Space Forces space safety lead, the Space Safety Division strives to safeguard U.S. spacepower via mishap prevention and above all, provide for and protect space.
Read more about the Space Safety Division at:

Awards ceremony:

Interview with the IAASS: