Patrick Wiggins, who represents NASA as a volunteer Solar System Ambassador in Utah, is receiving one of the space agency’s highest honors.
NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors work to educate the public about astronomy and space exploration. They commit to eight events a year – but the agency says Wiggins averages about 88 a year, more than a thousand since he started working in the program 12 years ago.
Wiggins says it’s something he just likes to do.
“I was working, of course, at the late, great Hansen Planetarium when I first applied to the program," Wiggins tells KUER. "And it was some time after I left there that I really went into full gear. When you’re retired and you’ve got time and you really enjoy stuff, and that for me is a big thing, I really enjoy doing NASA stuff.”
Wiggins will travel to Washington next month to receive NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal. Past recipients include astronomer Carl Sagan, science fiction author Robert Heinlein and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.