ISS Wins the Collier Trophy

International Space Station
Image Credit: NASA

The International Space Station Program has won the 2009 Collier Trophy, which is considered the top award in aviation. The National Aeronautic Association bestows the award annually to recognize the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.

The citation reads:

“For the design, development, and assembly of the 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 will be formally presented to the International Space Station Program team on 13 May 2010.

The International Space Station has been actively conducting research since it began operation. Nearly 150 experiments are currently under way on the station, and more than 400 experiments have been conducted since research began nine years ago.

Past recipients include:

  • (1911) Glenn Curtiss, for successful development of the hydro-aeroplane. The first award.
  • (1947) Chuck Yeager for piloting the Bell X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier.
  • (1958 & 1963) Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was awarded this trophy twice for his leadership at Lockheed’s Skunk Works in the development of the F-104 Starfighter (1958) and A-11, later the SR-71 Blackbird (1963).
  • (2004) Burt Rutan and his SpaceShipOne team for designing and launching the first commercial manned launch vehicle
  • other winners include Orville Wright (1913), Howard Hughes (1938), Scott Crossfield (1961), and the crew of Apollo 11 (1969).

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