Winners of 2017 American Astronautical Society Awards Announced

By January 22, 2018Uncategorized

Winners to be honored at the 2018 Goddard Memorial Symposium in March

SPRINGFIELD, VA (January 22, 2018) – The American Astronautical Society (AAS) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 awards. AAS presents several annual awards bestowed for meritorious accomplishments during the previous year or not previously honored by AAS award recognition.

“AAS is excited to honor these individuals and programs for their remarkable achievements and accomplishments,” said Carol Lane, AAS President. “Their work is truly deserving of recognition and we at AAS thank and congratulate all of the winners who have each advanced space flight and exploration.”

The awards and winners for 2017 are as follows:

  • Advancement of International Cooperation Award – Joel Montalbano, for his “contributions as a NASA visionary and leader, fostering collaboration across international partners for successful International Space Station utilization.” This award recognizes contributions to the advancement of international cooperation that have significant and/or long-lasting impact, are achieved over a significant portion of a career, and/or include activities not required by their profession.
  • Dirk Brouwer Award – Arun Misra for “outstanding and lasting contributions to space flight mechanics and astrodynamics of tethered satellite systems, flexible spacecraft, spacecraft orbiting asteroids, robotics for orbital assembly, and debris capture.” This award honors significant technical contributions to space flight mechanics and astrodynamics and recognizes Dirk Brouwer’s outstanding role in celestial mechanics and his widespread influence on workers in space flight and astrodynamics.
  • Industrial Leadership Award – Jesse Leitner for “successful rollout of safety and mission assurance policies that transformed GSFC SMA from a requirements-based organization to a risk based organization.” The award was established to recognize an individual in the space industry who had made an outstanding contribution through leadership in the development and acquisition of space systems.
  • Sally Ride Excellence in Education Award – Deborah Barnhart for her “outstanding leadership and service utilizing space education to inspire countless students and educators through STEM outreach programs.” This award recognizes an outstanding educator in either a) the delivery of space education or b) the use of space in STEM education.
  • Patti Grace Smith Award – Brooke Owens Fellowship for “creating the Brooke Owens Fellowship Program, which awards internships and senior mentorship to exceptional undergraduate women seeking a career in aviation or space exploration, and for launching 36 inaugural fellows in 2017.” The Patti Grace Smith Award recognizes Patti’s commitment to the development of young professionals.
  • Space Flight AwardPeggy Whitson. “Throughout her record-breaking aerospace career, Peggy has inspired others to share in the exploration and utilization of space. Her legacy, both on the ground and in space, will have lasting contributions to the Nation’s Space Program.” The Space Flight Award is given annually to the person whose outstanding efforts and achievements have contributed most significantly to the advancement of space flight and space exploration. The Space Flight Award is the highest award bestowed by AAS.
  • Space Life Sciences Award – NASA Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) Team for “exceptional service in space life sciences by discovering and establishing key technologies and developing systems necessary to establish a closed loop environmental system in space.” This award recognizes outstanding results in two broad categories of research: a) results of space life sciences research on the ISS or elsewhere that benefit humanity overall (e.g., medicine, genomics, etc.) and b) discoveries of importance to conducting the human exploration of space (e.g., effects of zero g and mitigation strategies.
  • Space Technology Award – Paul McNamara and the LISA Pathfinder Team for “leadership of the international LISA Pathfinder team, which delivered and operated a novel spacecraft that clearly demonstrated that a space-based observatory of gravitational waves is within our technical reach.” This award was established to recognize an outstanding achievement in space technology.

With the exception of the Brouwer Award, honorees will be presented with their awards at the 2018 Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium (March 13-15, Greenbelt, MD) during the luncheon on Wednesday March 14.  More information on the Goddard Symposium is available at astronautical.org/goddard.  The Brouwer Award will be presented during the 2018 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference in Snowbird, UT (August 19-23).