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Brian Little

Brian Little


Brian Little, the son of an airplane and helicopter pilot, loved aviation and space flight from a young age. He was a sci-fi enthusiast and thoroughly enjoyed Star Wars and Star Trek movies where, “Space — the final frontier,” was the central theme. As a youngster, he watched aircraft soar above his home near the U.S. Army’s aviation flight training school and studied the stars with the telescope given to him by his grandfather.

In the 7th grade, Brian attended Space Camp, an experience that cemented his interest in flight and desire for a career in the space program. He earned his private pilot’s license at age 17 and went on to become an FAA licensed single-engine and multi-engine commercial pilot. He was also licensed as an unmanned aerial vehicle remote pilot. He graduated from Auburn University with a mechanical engineering degree and went to work at Marshall Space Flight Center supporting the International Space Station. Brian was one of the first flight controllers certified when the Payload Operations Integration Center became operational in February 2001. He later helped design, develop, and test payload experiments in collaboration with Kennedy and Johnson space centers, other NASA centers, and multi-national agencies. After a long and successful career in Huntsville, Brian returned to his hometown in southeast Alabama to further his education and simultaneously train for his helicopter pilot certificate. He was killed in an accident while training on May 30, 2020. This scholarship is established to honor Brian’s life and to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, “to go where no man has gone before.”

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