Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2017


The Sir Arthur Clarke Centenary Awards

Announcement of the 2017 Winners

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation and its UK partner the British Interplanetary Society are pleased to announce the winners of the Sir Arthur Clarke Centenary Awards.  In a meticulously planned ceremony, sponsored by the UK Space Agency, at the UK Space Conference Gala Dinner in the sumptuously dressed and glittering Victoria Warehouse, awards were presented to 11 deserving winners.

Some 500 conference delegates and 100 Award Finalists and guests attended the evening and after a look back by David Parker, Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, ESA and former Chief Executive, UK Space Agency, to the small beginnings of the UK Space Conference at Charterhouse School in 1998 and the introduction of the first Sir Arthur Clarke Awards in 2005, a lavish dinner was served.  This was followed by the presentation of an award to the winner of the day’s Soapbox Presentations, Nobu Okada, Founder of Astroscale Pte Ltd., for his talk on ‘End-of-life (EOL) Management Service for Mega Constellations’.

Then came probably the most poignant and stirring moment of the evening when Rebecca Evernden, Director of Policy, UK Space Agency, introduced the Arthurs and handed the first envelope over to Tim Peake, ESA Astronaut, to read out the winner of a very Special Lifetime Space Achievement Award, NASA Astronaut Piers Sellers, who sadly died in December 2016.  Tim paid tribute to Piers and his passion for Space and in particular the effect of Climate Change on the Earth, before showing a short, but very moving video of many of Piers’ NASA colleagues, friends and family telling their often-amusing stories of Piers’ life in NASA and in Space.  Tim then presented the Award to Piers’ godchildren, Isabel and Max Sellers, his niece and nephew, who were representing the Sellers family while the rest of them were in Washington for another memorial ‘celebration’.  Isabel and Max spoke eloquently about Piers and the inspiration he had been in their lives.  It was as if Piers was handing over the baton, or torch, to the next generation – a truly memorable moment!

Rebecca resumed control and announced each award and its finalists in turn, while Tim opened the envelopes,  announced the winners and presented the awards, to the ‘whoops’ of the winners’ supporters and commiserations to the runners-up.  They worked their way fairly swiftly through the 10 remaining awards as listed below, culminating in the Lifetime and International Space Achievement Awards.

The Lifetime Award was won by Paul Flanagan for his many years of support for the UK space sector through his work as Secretary General, UKspace, the UK Space Trade Body, while Roy Gibson, the first Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) and later the British National Space Centre(BNSC), walked away with the International Award for putting the UK Space sector firmly on the international map back in the mid-70s when forming ESA and the mid-80s when founding BNSC.

Other significant award winners were the Gaia Teams who won both an Industry Award and an Academic Award, Oxford Nanopore Technologies, for their DNA Sequencer on the ISS, Alan Bond for his Skylon launcher, Dallas Campbell, the Media Award for his enthusiastic, relaxed, but informative presentation style and his education and outreach activities and the Cranspace Student Team for its Mars Fly-by Mission.  With so many nominations for the Education and Outreach Award, the judges decided to split the Award in two, a Team Award and an Individual Award.  The Science Museum Team was rewarded for its amazing Cosmonaut Exhibition and Kathie Bowden for her innovative Space Placements in Industry (SPIN) Scheme.

For details on all finalists see:

The 2017 Sir Arthur Clarke Centenary Awards Winners are:

1. The Special Lifetime Space Achievement Award(Posthumous)
Piers Sellers – NASA Astronaut (Isabel Sellers (Niece), Max Sellers(Nephew))
For his extraordinary contribution to astronautics, Earth & Space science, climate change and education and outreach.

2a. The Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team (Large Projects) Award
The Gaia Team – Airbus Defence and Space (Andy Whitehouse (Airbus), Andy Dyne (Airbus))
For the successful design and manufacture of the Gaia spacecraft and telescope which for the last 3 years has been accurately measuring the location and motion of the stars.

2b. The Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team (Small Projects) Award
The Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) Team – Oxford Science Park (Tara Kent (ONT), David Waterman (ONT), Kristen John (NASA)
For developing the technology and providing the MinION DNA Sequencer and the required support to NASA for its in orbit biomolecule research on the International Space Station (ISS).

3. The Space Achievement – Industry/Project Individual Award
Alan Bond, Co-Founder, Reaction Engines Ltd.
For the development of the SKYLON spaceplane to provide cheaper access to space for the benefit of mankind.

4. The Space Achievement – Academic Study/Research Award
The UK Gaia Science Team – Cambridge and Leicester Universities (Prof Gerry Gilmore (Cambs)- Principal Investigator, Prof Martin Barstow (Leics) – Co-Investigator, Dr. Simon Hodgkin (Cambs), Dr. Gudrun Pebody (Cambs))
For its role in processing and analysing data from the Gaia star mapping mission as its contribution to the European Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.

5a. The Space Achievement – Education and Outreach (Team) Award
The Cosmonauts Exhibition Team – The Science Museum (Ian Blatchford, Doug Millard and Natalia Sidlina and Alexandra Smirnova)
For securing invaluable space hardware and preparing the exhibition ‘The Cosmonaut’ to promote Space and educate the general public.

5b. The Space Achievement – Education and Outreach (Individual) Award
Kathie Bowden – Institute for Environmental Analytics, Reading University and the UK Space Agency
For the promotion and management of the Space Placements in Industry (SPIN) Scheme to introduce the most talented and enthusiastic University students to the UK Space Sector.

6. The Space Achievement – Student Award
The CranSpace Mars Flyby Team – School of Engineering, Cranfield University (William Blackler, Robert Sandford, Tiago Matos, Roland Albers)
For the Cranspace 8-student team’s proposal for a Mars flyby mission which won the Gemini Mars International Design Competition.

7. The Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and written Award
Dallas Campbell – TV Presenter and Actor
For his enthusiasm, love of Space and his relaxed, but informative presentation style and his continued support for education and outreach.

8. The Lifetime Space Achievement  Award
Paul Flanagan – Secretary General, UKspace
For his many years of support for the whole UK space sector through his work in running Ukspace, the UK Space Trade Body.

9.The International Space Achievement Award
Roy Gibson – First Director General, European Space Agency
For putting the UK on the European and then the International Space map as an early architect of today’s highly successful UK Space Sector.

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