ISS awarded prestigious aerospace prizes

ISS: a unique achievement in aerospace engineering
22 March 2010

The International Space Station has won two prizes as the greatest international space project of all time. Aviation Week’s Laureate Award and the Collier Trophy are two of the most prestigious awards in the aerospace realm.

On 17 March, Aviation Week magazine announced the winners of the 53rd Annual Laureate Awards, which recognise the extraordinary achievements of individuals and teams in aerospace, aviation and defence.

Aviation Week has honoured the International Space Station (ISS) programme managers: Pierre Jean, Canadian Space Agency; Bernardo Patti, ESA; Yoshiyuki Hasegawa, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; Alexey Krasnov, Roscosmos; and Michael Suffredini, NASA.

The ISS has been also recognised by the National Aeronautic Association with the Robert J. Collier Trophy “for the design, development, and assembly of the world’s largest spacecraft, an orbiting laboratory that promises new discoveries for mankind and sets new standards for international cooperation in space”.

The award is for “completing the project in 2009 with the addition of the last major modules (European-built Node-3 and Cupola) and the expansion of the crew to six. The ISS is arguably the signature engineering achievement of the last 60 years. By working together, partner agencies demonstrated that the station is as much an achievement in foreign relations as it is in aerospace engineering.”

The award was announced on 3 March, though it will be formally presented at the Annual Collier Dinner, to be held on 13 May. This prize is awarded annually “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.”

When asked about the importance and relevance of these prizes, Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, said, “It is a great honour for all the ISS partners to be recognised with these two prestigious awards. The International Space Station is not only one of the greatest successes of the space community worldwide but also an excellent tangible example of international collaboration.

“It fills me with proud to see that the work of all the space agencies has been recognised with these prizes, proving once more that space exploration is essential to expand human knowledge and to stimulate innovation.

“Also thanks to the successful deployment of the recent Node-3 and Cupola modules, as recognised by Aviation Week, I am also proud to lead the ESA Directorate of Human Spaceflight.”

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