Earlier today, Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster, was awarded a special honor by NASA, while on a tour of NASA’s facilities. This honor was due to longstanding collaborative efforts Kalitta and his company, Kalitta Charters, has had with NASA on safely ensuring transportation of team members and critical spaceflight hardware to the Houston area after work in the International Space Station (ISS).
“It is an honor to receive such an award from NASA due to my work with them in space station experiment deliveries,” said Kalitta. “NASA does very interesting experiments in space, and it is an honor to be a small part in making that successful.”
The special award includes an ISS mission patch that was flown on the final Space Shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011.
“One of NASA’s primary goals of the International Space Station is to conduct world-class research,” said ISS Program Manager Kirk Shireman. “A key component of conducting this research is the rapid return of samples from space. Kalitta plays a key role in rapidly transporting the science samples as well as other critical hardware from the landing site to the Johnson Space Center. The partnership between Kalitta and NASA is helping scientists around the world conduct important research and is helping NASA operate the International Space Station.”
The driver of the Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster will return to the dragstrip to compete in the fifth event on the season, the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston beginning tomorrow afternoon. Kalitta is seeking his third consecutive event win and fourth overall at the Houston-area facility, which would establish new track records.