Space Science Award Open for Nominations 1 October 2019 1 February 2020

The Space Science Award, originally established in 1961, was presented to an investigator who distinguished himself through the achievement in studies of the physics of atmospheres of celestial bodies, or of the matter, fields, and dynamic and energy transfer processes occurring in space or experienced by space vehicles. Re-established in August 1998 with a broader scope, the Space Science Award is now presented to an individual for demonstrated leadership of innovative scientific investigations associated with space science missions. This award is presented biennially (in even numbered years) at the AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum (SPACE). Nomination Deadline: 1 February

Award Recipients

2018

  • Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Science Team
    Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Science Team
    Awarded
    Award: 1

2016

  • Gravity Probe B Team
    Gravity Probe B Team
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For performing with NASA support two revolutionary new tests of Einstein’s theory of gravity, general relativity, with cryogenic gyroscopes in Earth orbit.

2014

  • Spitzer Space Telescope
    Spitzer Space Telescope
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding science producing over 2,000 papers, 50,000+hours of observation, and significant findings such as the first telescope to directly detect light from extrasolar planets.”

2008

  • Dr Michael F A'Hearn
    University of Maryland
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For leadership of the "Deep Impact" mission that delivered the first man-made object to impact the nucleaus of a comet and study its composition.

2006

  • Dr Stephan D Price
    AFRL - Air Force Research Laboratory
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For pioneering achievements in infrared astronomy and space based experiments with state-of-the-art infrared cryogenic sensors

2004

  • Dr Steve W. Squyres
    Cornell University
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For his leadership of the Mars Rover's Athena Investigation that has excited the public interest and given new insights into the geological history of Mars, including evidence that water once flowed on the surface

2000

  • Mr. Alan Binder
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For landing the Lunar Prospector team in its highly successful Discovery Class mission to map elements abundances and probe water ice on the moon’s surface

1996

  • Eugene Shoemaker
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: In recognition of a long and very distinguished career of forefront scientific research into the origins and evolution of our solar system and life

1995

  • James A Westphal
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For leadership in the scientific utilization of CCD sensor technology, particularly for leading the development of the Hubble Wide Field and Planetary Camera

1994

  • Dr Lennard Fisk
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For distinguished achievement in space sciences and especially for leadership of the scientific community as NASA Associate Administrator of Space Science and Applications

1993

  • Dr John C Mather
    NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For leadership of the Cosmic Background Explorer team which succeeded in making exceptionally precise and complete measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation of major significance to cosmology.

1992

  • Prof Peter A Sturrock
    Stanford University
    Awarded

1991

  • Dr Michael B Duke
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For inspiration and leadership in the advancement of scientific knowledge and human exploration of the solar system

1990

  • Alan Title
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For distinguished achievements in studies of the physics of atmospheres of celestial bodies, or of the matter, fields, and dynamic and energy transfer processes occurring in space, or experienced by space vehicles

1989

  • Richard H Kohrs
    Awarded-CoRecipients
    AIAA Citation: For your diligent safety review and extensive system-wide technical upgrade for improved mission success and your commitment to getting the NSTS back in operation as demonstrated by the successful return to space and landing of STS-26.
  • Frank B McDonald
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For pioneering studies of rays, interplanetary particles, and the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Under his guidance the NASA/GSFC Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics has achieved eminence

1988

  • Thomas M Donahue
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For major contributions to the study of the atmospheres of the Earth and other planets, using sounding rockets, satellites, and planetary spacecraft, along with incisive theoretical analysis and devoted service on advisory bodies

1987

  • Frederick L Scarf
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For the first measurements of and for pioneering research in the study of wave-particle interactions throughout the magnetospheres of the Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, and for continuing service to the scientific community

1986

  • Richard Johnson
    The Aerospace Corporation
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For originating and conducting a series of plasma composition experiments culminating in the discovery of large fluxes of energetic ovygenions in the magnetosphere thereby showing that the ionosphere is a major source of space plasmas

1985

  • Gerry Neugebauer
    Awarded
    Award: -
    AIAA Citation: For pioneering work and scientific leadership in infra-red astronomy, culminating with his leadership of the IRAS Science Team.

1984

  • Dr Edward C Stone
    California Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For distinguished achievements in studies of solar and galactic cosmic-ray isotopic abundance, solar flare and planetary ion-composition, energetic electrons in the earth’s magnetosphere, and for outstanding leadership in the Voyager 1 and 2 programs.

1982

  • James A Van Allen
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For his pioneering work in the observation and study of planetary magnetospheres and the distribution of cosmic rays in the heliosphere and for leadership in space sciences education and unmanned space research programs.

1981

  • Dr Peter M Banks
    Red Planet Capital
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the understanding of the dynamical behavior of plasma in the earth's upper ionosphere and the surrounding magnetospheric environment.

1980

  • Donald M Hunten
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For major contributions to the study of the physics of the earth's atmosphere and the atmospheres of other solar system bodies through a unique combination of excellent theoretical work and influential activity in the preparation of earth-based and spaceborne experiments.

1979

  • James B Pollack
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For making major contributions to our understanding of planetary atmospheres, surfaces and climates, and for making major contributions to the theory of aerosois and the climatic influence of stratospheric aerosols.

1978

  • Laurence E Peterson
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the study of solar and cosmic X-rays and X-rays while orbiting solar observatories and for continuing highly successful efforts to improve X-ray observations from spacecraft.

1977

  • Dr Bruce C Murray
    California Institute of Technology
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to and enthusiastic support for the Planetary Exploration Program for essential participation in the mariner spacecraft television imaging experiments which led to fundamental new insights on the evolution of the terrestrial planets.

1976

  • Riccardo Giacconi
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions and leadership in the field of x-ray astronomy as evidence by development of the x-ray telescropie by which you obtained x-ray pictures of the sun.

1975

  • Dr Murray Dryer
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For leading contributions to the understanding of interplanetary shock phenomena generated by solar disturbances and further advances to the knowledge

1974

  • Mr. John F Wolfe
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For fundamental contributions to our understanding of the interplanetary medium and leading role in the success of the Pioneer interplanetary and Jupiter missions.

1973

  • Paul W Gast
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant scientific accomplishment resulting fro his examination of materials returned from the lunar surface. His precise measurement of lunar sample elements by the stable isotope dilution method has been one of the most outstanding scientific achievements in lunar space.

1972

  • Dr Norman F Ness
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For significant contributions to the description and understanding of the interplanetary medium and the interactions of this medium with the earth and other large bodies.

1971

  • William Ia Axford
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the fluid dynamics of the sun earth environment and to the theory of cosmic ray interactions with the solar wind.

1970

  • Carl McIlwain
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For originating the B-L magnetic coordinate system which is of great utility for ordering the radiations trapped in the geomagnetic field and for outstanding investigations of these radiations.

1969

  • Charles P Sonnett
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For personal contribution as a planner, leader and individual experimenter in major space science vehicle programs which have contributed to the field of space physics.

1968

  • Kinsey A Anderson
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For a consistent series of major contributions to the development of space science and the improvement of our understanding of its mysteries, especially with relation to solar cosmic radiation, the aurora and the magnetophere.

1967

  • Robert B Leighton
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For outstanding achievements in astronomy and astrophysics particularly in solar surface studies and in Mariner IV studies of Mars.

1966

  • Dr Francis S Johnson
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For contributions to knowledge of the solar constant untraviolet spectrum, atmospheris structures and dynamics, the geocorona, and the existence and nature of atmospheric gravity waves.

1965

  • Eugene N Parker
    Awarded

1964

  • Dr Herbert Friedman
    Naval Research Lab
    Awarded
    AIAA Citation: For distinguished achievements in investigating the physics of planetary atmospheres, starting with the properties of solar untraviolet and x-radiation and the resultant effects on the production of the various ionospheric regions.

1962

  • Dr John R Winckler
    Awarded