Press Release

Carl Sagan Memorial Award Presented to Scott Hubbard

By SpaceRef Editor
November 13, 2006
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The American Astronautical Society, in cooperation with The Planetary Society, will present G. Scott Hubbard with the Carl Sagan Memorial Award on Tuesday, November 14, 2006.

Named for The Planetary Society’s co-founder, the Carl Sagan Memorial Award is presented annually to a person who has demonstrated leadership in research or policies advancing exploration of the Cosmos.

 “Scott Hubbard is a brilliant engineer and manager with a real vision for space exploration,” said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society.

Hubbard holds the Carl Sagan Chair for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute.   Prior to becoming Director of the NASA Ames Research Center in 2000, Hubbard served as NASA’s “Mars Czar” in the 1990s.   The Mars Czar, appointed by Dan Goldin, was the informal name given to the Director of the Mars Program at NASA Headquarters that sought to advance both robotic and human exploration of Mars.  Hubbard also served as the first director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute.  He was the Mission Manager of the successful Lunar Prospector project and a member of the shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

Friedman noted that this past week was the anniversary of Carl Sagan’s birthday (November 9, 1934) and that next month will mark the tenth anniversary of his death.  “Carl provided NASA with a vision of what accomplishments in space exploration would mean to the world.   Scott helped provide many of the accomplishments in the vision, and I know Carl would have been both proud and honored by his selection for the Sagan Award,” Friedman said. 

Visit for more information about Sagan.

Bruce Murray, co-founder of The Planetary Society and a former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was the first recipient of the Carl Sagan Memorial Award in 1997.  Additional award recipients include Wesley Huntress, President of The Planetary Society; Edward Stone; Arnauld Nicogossian; Edward Weiler; Roald Sagdeev; Michael Malin; Steven Squyres and the Athena Team; and California and the Carnegie Planet Search Team – Geoffrey Marcy, Steven Vogt, Paul Butler and Debra Fischer.

Hubbard will present the Carl Sagan Memorial Lecture and receive his award on November 14 at the American Astronautical Society National Conference and 53rd Annual Meeting, held in Pasadena, California at the Hilton Hotel, 150 South Los Robles.  The 2006 conference is entitled “The Human + Machine Equation” and takes place November 14-15.



For more information, contact Susan Lendroth by phone: (626) 793-5100 ext. 237, e-mail:


The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. Today, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world.  Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980.


Founded in 1954, the American Astronautical Society is America’s network of space professionals, technical and non-technical, dedicated to advancing all space activities. 


SpaceRef staff editor.