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NASA scientist receives top award from Texas A&M

November 13, 2017

Vickie Kloeris, manager of the International Space Station Food System at our own Johnson Space Center, received the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on Nov. 10 in College Station, Texas.

The award honors former students who have made significant accomplishments and contributions at the state, national or international level in agriculture, natural resources or the life sciences, and who graduated from the college.

Kloeris graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology in 1978 and then a master’s degree in food science and technology in 1979 from Texas A&M University (TAMU).

She began working for a contractor at Johnson as a food scientist, and eventually became the NASA civil servant manager of the Space Shuttle Program Food System.

Since 2000, she has managed the International Space Station Food System. In addition, Kloeris has served as the manager of the entire Space Food Systems Laboratory at Johnson since 2007.

“When the public thinks about heroes of our nation’s space program, they usually think of astronauts, flight directors and rocket engineers,” said Col. Michael E. Fossum, former astronaut and vice president of Texas A&M University, as well as Chief Operating Officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston. “Without the stellar work of Vickie Kloeris over the last 32 years developing the space food system we have today, our successful mission onboard the International Space Station would not be possible.”

Additionally, Kloeris has mentored many students from Texas A&M University, other local universities and even international students.

“Vickie has always provided support to her university and her community, whether on Advisory Committee at TAMU, promoting her professional organization with local meetings and national responsibilities or working with food assistance for those less fortunate,” said Helen W. Lane, NASA senior scientist emeritus, adjunct professor of chemistry, University of Houston-Clear Lake. “She continues to care about her community.”

Kloeris has truly innovated space food, improving variety, nutritional value, texture and taste.

“Vickie’s work in food science is not just the best in the world; it is the best off the planet, too,” Fossum said.

Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, presents the Outstanding Alumni Award to Johnson Space Center's Vickie Kloeris. Image courtesy of Texas A&M University.
Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, presents the Outstanding Alumni Award to Johnson Space Center's Vickie Kloeris. Image courtesy of Texas A&M University.
Kloeris speaks to audience members upon receiving her award from Texas A&M University on Nov. 10. Image courtesy of Texas A&M University.
Kloeris speaks to audience members upon receiving her award from Texas A&M University on Nov. 10. Image courtesy of Texas A&M University.