Status Report

American Astronautical Society (AAS) Award Nominations Due

By SpaceRef Editor
October 20, 2021
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At the American Astronautical Society (AAS) we have just finished our 2021 Symposia and Conference season with the Von Braun Symposium. This was our first face-to-face activity in over a year and a half, and it was very successful. AAS will send you a note when the session videos are available on our website ( 

In this, my first e-mail to the general AAS membership, I want to remind you of something very important to me, our AAS awards program. It is easy for us to focus on our symposia and conferences and neglect this critical part of our society’s function – recognizing those teams and individuals who have contributed to our industry through their scientific, academic, engineering, management, and other efforts. 

These are your awards. This is your opportunity to help your co-workers and employees receive the recognition they deserve. They do not need to be in your direct organization, and they are not required to be AAS members. They simply need to be worthy of appreciation and acknowledgment. 

Your action is required now. The deadline for nominations is October 31, so you have only a few days remaining to submit. The awards and process are shown below. There are links to more information if needed.  

Nomination materials should be sent as Word attachments to  with the subject line “2021 Award Nomination – last name”. Reference letters can be PDF. 

Please take the short time to needed to nominate those who deserve recognition. They, and we, thank you. 

Best Regards,

Alan DeLuna 


Below are the awards open for nomination and criteria. You may see listings of the awards with prior winners here

  • Advancement of International Cooperation Award for outstanding contributions in advancing international astronautics activities. 
  • Dirk Brouwer Award recognizes significant technical contributions to spaceflight mechanics and astrodynamics. (See specific criteria for the Brouwer award here (Brouwer Award). 
  • Patti Grace Smith Award for significant contribution to growth of young professionals in the space industry. 
  • Carl Sagan Memorial Award to an individual who has demonstrated leadership in research or policies advancing exploration of the Cosmos. 
  • Earth Science and Applications Award recognizes an outstanding achievement in Earth or Environmental Sciences. 
  • Industrial Leadership Award for an individual in the space industry who has made an outstanding contribution through leadership in development and acquisition of space systems. 
  • John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to public service through leadership in promoting our space programs for the exploration and utilization of outer space. 
  • Neil Armstrong Space Flight Achievement Award for outstanding achievement as flight crew, flight crew member or team. 
  • Sally Ride Excellence in Education Award recognizes an outstanding educator in either the delivery of space education or the use of space in STEM education. Both K-12 educators and college/graduate-level educators can be nominated. 
  • Space Entrepreneurship Award recognizes the successful introduction of new technologies and production methods into the market by entrepreneurs. 
  • The Space Flight Award recognizes an individual whose outstanding efforts and achievements have contributed most significantly to the advancement of space flight and space exploration. The highest award bestowed by the AAS. 
  • Space Life Sciences Award recognizes outstanding results in two broad categories of research: results of space life sciences research on the ISS or elsewhere that benefit humanity overall (e.g., medicine, genomics, etc.); and discoveries of importance to conducting the human exploration of space (e.g., effects of zero g and mitigation strategies.) 
  • Space Technology Award recognizes an outstanding achievement in space technology. 


The nominations process is shown below. Additional information is available here.  

  • All nominations received will be submitted to the Awards Committee. 
  • Nominations are welcome from anyone, not just AAS members. 
  • Nominations will not be accepted from a member who is a direct subordinate of the nominee. 
  • Late nominations and nominees who did not win awards will be retained for consideration for the next year’s award cycle. 
  • Required for each nomination is a letter (not to exceed two pages) which includes the following items: 
  • Date of submission 
  • Title of award 
  • Name, position, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee 
  • Citation (3 lines maximum) 
  • Description of the accomplishments for which the nomination is being made, including applicability to the specific award under consideration 
  • Name, affiliation, and address of the submitter 
  • Supporting material for nominee: i.e., curriculum vitae not to exceed 2 pages, is desirable, but not mandatory. 
  • Other letters of recommendation supporting the nomination may be submitted. 
  • Nominations by members of the Awards Committee must be documented in this same manner. 

Nominations Deadline is October 31, 2021. 

Nomination materials should be sent as Word attachments to with the subject line “2021 Award Nomination – last name”. 

SpaceRef staff editor.