Winners of the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2015

A group picture of the winners and their awards. (Jerry Stone)

The SACA 2015 winners. (Jerry Stone)

1. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team – The Beagle 2 Team, Industry and Academia

2. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Individual  – William Marshall, Planet Labs, San Francisco

3. Space Achievement – Academic Study/Research  – The Stardust Team, University of Strathclyde

4. Space Achievement – Education and Outreach – The Rosetta/Philae Outreach Team

5. Space Achievement – StudentThe MSC Student Outreach Team, Kings College London

6. Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and writtenRichard Hollingham, BBC Future

7. Space Achievement – Lifetime – Professor J.L. Culhane,   Mullard Space Science Laboratories, UCL

8. Space Achievement – International – Dr. Burton I. Edelson (Posthumous)

For further details on the Awards and the eight Award Winners please see below.

A list of previous winners is available at http://www.bis-space.com/2013/04/05/9719/sir-arthur-clarke-awards-2005-2014.

Winners’ Details

1. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team:
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by a team, in all space activities. This includes any activity by a commercial or government organisation that designs, manufactures, supplies or operates space systems, equipment or hardware, or supports and promotes the space industry.

The Beagle 2 Team, Industry and Academia
Beagle 2 was found on the Martian surface in January 2015, 11 years after being assumed lost, proving that the original calculations and engineering were spot on after all.  This mission was only one, or possibly two solar panels away from being an outstanding success.  Images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera show that Beagle-2 successfully landed in its intended landing ellipse on the surface of Mars on Christmas Day 2003 and began deploying its solar panels but only 2, or perhaps 3, of the four panels opened thus preventing the probe from communicating with Earth.  The entry shield, parachutes, air bags and ancillary equipment and software that make up the Beagle-2 Entry, Descent & Landing System were a triumph of engineering, constrained by weight, development time and funding as well as the unforgiving Martian environment that had foiled half of all previous attempts to land there.

2. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Individual:
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by an individual, in all space activities. This includes any activity by a commercial or government organisation that designs, manufactures, supplies or operates space systems, equipment or hardware, or supports and promotes the space industry.

William Marshall, Planet Labs, San Francisco
After working on Lisa Pathfinder, ESA’s Gravity Wave spacecraft, at Oxford University, William Marshall moved over to NASA’s Ames facility in California before founding his own highly successful space company ‘Planet Labs’ in San Francisco.  His company has created an innovative combination, applying modern agile techniques to space hardware with a good business plan and the altruistic aim of providing daily detailed images of the Earth.  So, with his company based in the USA, William is an excellent example of how to succeed in this global space industry.

3. Space Achievement – Academic Study/Research:
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space research by a team or individual employed by an academic organisation. This includes research carried out in any subject related to space, whether in science, engineering, medicine, humanities, art or design.

The Stardust Team, University of Strathclyde
Stardust, coordinated by the Stardust Team at Strathclyde University, is a unique research and training network providing innovative and effective solutions to space debris and asteroid monitoring, removal/deflection and exploitation, two of today’s most challenging problems in space engineering and science. The team addresses all aspects, covering all the problems in their full complexity, incorporating new advanced modelling and cutting-edge numerical simulations, finding innovative ways to predict the future evolution of objects and using key advances on effective engineering solutions to manipulate and/or remove asteroids and space debris.  Academic led, the Team directly involves key players and decision makers from the space sector, such as Airbus Defence and Space, Deimos, Telespazio and ESA.

4. Space Achievement – Education and Outreach:
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space education and outreach. This includes: formal education at all levels, informal education, education about space, education for the space community (e.g. workforce development), education using space assets/resources, and outreach to the general public or specific target groups.

The Rosetta/Philae Outreach Team
The Rosetta/Philae Outreach Team turned a great scientific achievement into a really great popular science outreach achievement.  They had the most engaged audience for a space event for a very long time, having created an extremely wide range of publicity material, from the amazing top-level science fiction/science fact introductory film ‘Ambition’, the detailed press kits, and the entertaining ‘Once upon a time’ cartoon videos, covering each campaign milestone. They produced brochures, models, and posters and put out a continuous stream of blog posts, tweets, hang-outs, and a series of ‘Comet Hunter’ videos on Euronews to keep everyone up-to-date with the mission status, the ever-changing state of Comet 67P/C-G, and the scientific results. They also made brilliant teaching/educational resources available, including a dedicated website, the primary and secondary lessons, and the fantastic Paxi alien educator.

5. Space Achievement – Student:
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by a school, undergraduate or postgraduate student team or individual, for any space-related activity, from basic research to awards and outreach.  Nominees must be no more than 28 years of age on 4 May 2015.

The MSC Student Outreach Team, Kings College London
Dr Green and his MSC students have, over a number of years, supported a whole host of outreach events.  They have designed new interactive activities, spoken at lectures, acted as space ambassadors and generally enthused and wowed a range of audiences about space.  Events they have supported have included Stargazing Live, Into Film, The Launch of the Longitude Explorer prize.  Many of the students have continued with their outreach activities post-graduation.  This includes people such as Dr Dalbir Singh and Kristen Shafer.  They undertake outreach with great energy and knowledge!

6. Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and written:
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space media. This includes any media, related to space, such as journalism, documentary, drama or other entertainment or scholarly record in any form, including written, filmed, broadcast, web/internet-based or staged.

Richard Hollingham, BBC Future
As space correspondent for BBC Future, Richard Hollingham writes a popular fortnightly column for the BBC Future website with a massive worldwide audience of around a million readers per column. For several years this international audience did not include a national readership because the site was unavailable in the UK, but, in the last six months, the BBC has opened the site to the UK and Richard’s space column has become even more popular. It is now one of the most read columns on the BBC Futuresite.  Richard’s achievements on BBC Future have slipped below the radar, but consistently providing a column on space to a million people who love what he does deserves recognition.

7. Space Achievement – Lifetime:
This award is made for exceptional achievement in an area of space activity. Examples of this might include lifetime achievement, breakthroughs in space science/technology, space undertakings of global impact/significance, etc.

Professor J.L. Culhane,  Mullard Space Science Laboratories, UCL
A world-class scientist in X-ray astronomy and solar physics, Prof Culhane led the development of sophisticated X-ray/EUV spectrometers involving the UK, Japan, the USA, and Norway, thus demonstrating the value of international collaborations.  An expert on space science who serves on many international space science committees,  Prof. Culhane currently has about 245 refereed papers with about 7500 citations.  He has seminal papers on X-ray and EUV spectroscopy of the solar atmosphere and  Under his leadership, the MSSL/UCL laboratory developed into a world leader in space science.  He has received many awards in recognition of his research and space science leadership.

8. Space Achievement – International
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements which either feature, or further, an important international aspect in an area of space activity. The final selection and judging of this award is carried out by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.

Dr. Burton I. Edelson (Posthumous)
Dr. Burton I. Edelson, born in New York, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and gained his Masters and Doctorate in Metallurgy from Yale in 1954 and 1960, before becoming Deputy Director of Comsat Laboratories, in 1967.  There he led a program that helped develop some of the world’s first commercial communications satellites.  He became Director in 1972.  In 1982 he was appointed Associate Administrator of NASA for Space Sciences and Applications.  He played a key role in several vital programs including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which some say he actually got started.  He then led the effort to correct the focal problem on the $1.8 billion program to produce some of the highest resolution images of the universe, confirm the existence of black holes, create an accurate age for the universe and calibrate its rate of expansion.

Other programs included the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite program, the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), the Halley Comet Interceptor and the Mars Explorer Mission.  After retiring from NASA, Mr. Edelson directed projects in satellite communications and advanced space technology at the Institute of Applied Space Research at George Washington (GW) University. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the HST it would be fitting that Dr. Burton Edelson be recognised for his vast contribution to space activities and the HST programme in particular.

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