Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History


The Ordway Award is named in memory of Frederick I. Ordway III (1927-2014), human spaceflight advocate and chronicler of the history of rocketry and space travel.  The award recognizes exceptional, sustained efforts to inform and educate on spaceflight and its history through one or more media, including (1) writing, editing, or publishing, (2) preparation and/or presentation of exhibits; or (3) production for distribution through film, television, art, or other non-print media.  The award is managed by the AAS History Committee.

Deadline for nominations is July 1.

Quest Ordway Award Black

Recipients – 2016


  • Charles Lundquist (Archivist) has been actively contributing to the dissemination and publication and preservation of space history since his retirement in 1999.  Dr. Lundquist has been front-row witness to the American space program and continues actively working to save unique space history documents as Director of the Interactive Projects Office of The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
  • Toni Myers’ (Audio/Visual) long association with large-format films began when she was assistant editor of Graeme Ferguson’s stunning multi-screen documentary for Montreal’s EXPO ’67, Polar Life.  A key member of the IMAX space team that Ferguson assembled, Myers wrote and edited The Dream Is Alive (1985), Blue Planet (which she also narrated in 1990) and Destiny in Space (1994), and was co-producer and writer/editor of L5: First City in Space (1996) and Mission to Mir (1997). In 2002, Myers produced, wrote and edited the award-winning Space Station 3D, the first large-format 3D film to be shot in space. She followed with Hubble 3D (2010) and, most recently, A Beautiful Planet (2016).  Myers is recognized for her documentation of spaceflight over the past 30+ years using large-format films to reach and inspire millions of viewers worldwide.
  • Pat Rawlings (Artist) has been documenting the present and future of space exploration for more than 30 years.  His art has appeared in hundreds of magazines, books, television programs and films in both in the US and abroad.  Mr. Rawlings has been one of the most visible of all the modern space artists – probably rivaled only by the late Robert McCall. In addition to the work he has done within the aerospace industry, his art has appeared in countless public venues – by virtue of which he has been instrumental in inspiring enthusiasm and interest in both the past and future of spaceflight in the population at large.
  • Frank H. Winter (Author) published his first article on rocket history in 1966, for which he received the Goddard Essay Award presented by the National Space Club. Mr. Winter has written several hundred articles and papers, and twelve books (and counting) on various historical aspects of rocket development and spaceflight, including most recently a history of Reaction Motors, Inc., which he co-authored with Fred Ordway.  He is widely recognized for the quality of his research and unwavering devotion to his craft.


First Recipients – 2015


  • Leonard David (Journalism) has been reporting on space exploration for over five decades. Throughout those years, his writings have appeared in numerous websites, newspapers, magazines and books, such as the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Private Air, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, SPACE.com and Space News newspaper, as well as Aerospace America and in supplemental writing for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. Mr. David has been a consultant to NASA, other government agencies and the aerospace industry.  In the mid-1980’s he served as Director of Research for the National Commission on Space, a U.S. Congress/White House study that appraised the next 50 to 100 years of space exploration. Currently, Leonard is SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist, as well as a correspondent for Space News newspaper and a contributing writer for several magazines, such as Aerospace America, the membership publication of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  Mr. David has created a website dedicated to a variety of space topics at http://www.leonarddavid.com/
  • David Hardy (Artist) is the oldest continuously working space artist in the world.  He created his first space art in 1950, when he was just 14 years old.  Four years later, he illustrated the first of the many books he worked on with Patrick Moore.  He began contributing art to Moore’s long-running television series, “Sky at Night,” in 1957—which he continues to do to the present day.  In addition to the hundreds of magazines and books in which his art has appeared, he is the author/illustrator of more than half a dozen books of his own, including such classics as “Challenge of the Stars” (1972) and “Galactic Tours” (1981).  He also wrote and compiled the first comprehensive history of space art, “Visions of Space (1989).  A founding member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists, Hardy served as president in 1996 and is still a Fellow and Vice President for Europe.  In 2002 he was awarded the IAAA’s Lucien Rudaux Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions to space art.  In 2003 an asteroid was named “Davidhardy” in his honor.
  • Quest – The History of Spaceflight (Publisher) has been published since 1992 and is currently the only peer-reviewed journal focused exclusively on spaceflight history.  For nearly a quarter-century, Quest has published peer-reviewed articles, oral histories, and book reviews written by professional and amateur historians that have run the gamut of topics in spaceflight history, including technical discussions of both manned and unmanned vehicles, behind-the-scenes stories from people who’ve worked in the sector, and covered the people, programs, and politics of space.  Quest has firmly established itself as the preeminent periodical on spaceflight history.  Further information is available on their website, spacehistory101.com.
  • Mark Wade (Web) started The Encyclopedia Astronautica website in 1994 as his personal web page.  Friends and Partners in Space, founded to encourage informal exchanges between people interested in Russian space programs and international cooperation in space, hosted the website from 1996-2000.  This coincided with declassification of material in the United States, Russia, and China, revealing a history of the space race completely different from that which was previously known.  As the scope of the pages expanded to include space history in general, the traffic became too great for that organization to handle.  The purpose of this website was to provide information on spaceflight history to a wide audience in a timely fashion, rather than awaiting the publication of formal histories, and preserving that information for future generations.  The domain name astronautix.com was purchased in 2000 by Mark to provide a stable web address for the site, which he maintains and updates.