31 May 2017 – 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: http://www.bis-space.com/2017/05/26/19027/the-sir-arthur-clarke-centenary-awards-finalists-announced.