Planetary scientist Bill Feldman was honored with a distinguished lifetime achievement award in Tucson earlier this week.

NASA awarded Feldman with the Eugene Shoemaker Distinguished Scientist Medal for his contributions to moon and Solar System research.

He said when he got the call, he was completely surprised because he didnt know he was even being considered.

I went through the ceiling, Feldman joked.

The medal, named after American Geologist Eugene Shoemaker, honors scientists who have contributed to the field of lunar and planetary sciences throughout their career. NASAs Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, SSERVI, has presented the award to recipients during the NASA Exploration Science Forum each summer since 2009.

Feldman is a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Planetary Science Institute headquartered in Tucson. PSI, founded in 1972, focuses its work on Solar System exploration. He also attributes much of his success to the time he spent at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where he now resides full-time.

In his earlier years, he served in the military where he was sent to the NASA Ames Research Center. That visit sparked his interest in space science.

That changed absolutely everything, said Feldman. Im very thankful for the military for what theyve done for me.

He earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961 and a Ph.D in Physics from Stanford University in 1968.

Throughout his career, Feldman worked on several NASA space missions, authored or co-authored more than 350 scientific papers, and acquired an asteroid namesake.

Despite all of these accomplishments, he says his two daughters and wife are what he is most proud of.

They say to achieve anything these days, it takes a village, said Feldman. Well Ill add to thatit takes a family.