NASA recognizes LDS mom for service to space program

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

HOUSTON — A Mormon mother of four was recently recognized by NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Module leadership team for her service in the public outreach program for Orion and America's space exploration program.

Robin Mayer, a member of the Clear Lake 1st Ward, League City Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received the appreciation award on Aug. 15 at the Johnson Space Center.

Barb Zelon, manager of the NASA Orion Communication Integration team, expressed the appreciation felt for Mayer's service.

“Robin really earned this special recognition," Zelon said. "She’s part of the team and we’re glad to have her outstanding support”

For almost two years, Mayer and her husband, Joe Mayer, have traveled the country in order to help promote the space program.

"Basically we go along to support the group, to support NASA," Robin Mayer said. "Many people are involved and we work as a team. We get to talk about the space program to educate people from all areas of the country. I never thought this would get anything like an award."

This past year, the Mayers volunteered in Austin, Texas, where more than 10,000 people came to view their exhibit.

"It was over 100 degrees and we were out there for over 12 hours," Mayer said. "It's amazing how the people are so energized. My role is to talk to them about the importance of the space program and the role in our U.S. leadership. It's just wonderful to hear their stories and their dreams for the space program."

Mayer, a mother of four children, first began volunteering with NASA because of her husband, Joe Mayer, who works as the Citizens for Space Exploration chairman. Seven years ago, Robin began volunteering for three or four months out of the year by setting up appointments for people to meet with members of Congress in order to promote the space program and keep it alive.

"This is another space invlovement thing I do, but it's a pretty fascinating thing to do," Mayer said. "This year we had 355 appointments that I was able to make with Congress. Sometimes we don't get good responses, or I don't hear from some offices, but we get at least 300 appointments every year."

Robin has experience working with members of congress, having worked with Sen. Jake Garn, a former Utah senator, for five years.

"I take some of that experience that I had up on Capitol Hill, and I use it in making these appointments," Robin said. "It definitely helps me out, having that experience."

All in all, Robin said she has learned a lot from her service, and wants to continue to spread the excitment of the space program.

"We like to be involved in anything that we can," Robin said. "It has just had a real positive effect. I love meeting people, and I love hearing their stories. I have met so many people, whether through my phone calls or with people standing in line for the exhibit. It's their interest in the program that makes me want to keep getting involved."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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