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- May 28th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorised

28 May 2017 – The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation is pleased to announce the Finalists of the 2017 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards.

The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards recognise and reward those individuals and teams that have made notable or outstanding achievements in, or contributions to, all space activities in the past year, 2016/17.  Better known as ‘The Arthurs’, they have been presented annually since 2005.

Sponsored by the UK Space Agency again this year, the Award Ceremony will be on Wednesday 31 May at the UK Space Conference Gala Dinner in The Victoria Warehouse, a prestigious 750 seat venue in central Manchester.

The British Interplanetary Society, selected once again as the organiser of the awards by the Foundation, invited nominations from the general public and a nominations panel of senior representatives from all areas of the space sector on 1st February.  Nominations closed on 7 April allowing the judges 3 to 4 weeks to select the 3 finalists in each Award Category listed below and invite them to the Award Ceremony where the winners will be announced.

Due to the large number of nominations and the high quality of the candidates in this Sir Arthur’s Centenary year, the judges agreed to increase the number of Awards by first creating a Special Lifetime Space Achievement Award for the late Piers Sellers, NASA Astronaut, to recognise his amazing contribution to Space and the UK’s involvement.  Then to simplify the judging process, the Industry/Project Team Award was split into Larger Projects and Smaller Projects and to ease the pressure due to the 19 nominations in the Education and Outreach (E&O) Award, the E&O Award was split in two, one for teams and the other for individuals.  So there are 11 Awards to be presented.


1. Special Lifetime Space Achievement (Posthumous)

  • Piers Sellers – NASA Astronaut

For his amazing spaceflights and his extraordinary contribution to astronautics, Earth & Space science, climate change and education and outreach.

The three finalists in each Award Category are:

2a. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team (Large Projects)

  • The Global Xpress Project Team  – Inmarsat

For successfully delivering a frontier project for the Space Industry, giving downstream users frictionless access to space capabilities.

  • The Gaia Team – Airbus Defence and Space

For the successful design and manufacture of the Gaia spacecraft and telescope which for the last 3 years has been accurately measuring the location and motion of the stars.

  • The CMIN 2016 Team  – The UK Space Agency

For securing the best financial support for the UK Space sector from ESA ever.

2b. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team (Small Projects)

  • The Oxford Science Systems AlSat-1N AstroTube Boom Payload Team – Harwell Campus

For breaking two space industry records, the shortest product development time and designing and building the world’s longest retractable microsat boom.

  • The Oxford Nanopore Technologies Team – Oxford Science Park

For developing the technology and providing the MinION DNA Sequencer and the required support to NASA for its in orbit biomolecule research on the International Space Station (ISS).

  • The Harwell Campus Space Cluster Inward Investment Committee – Harwell Campus

For the highly successful promotion of inward investment to the Harwell space cluster. 

3. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Individual

  • Dr Martin Unwin, Surrey University and Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd

For his pioneering work, in using GPS technology for in-space navigation and in developing the payloads for NASA’s CYGNSS mission and all of Europe’s operational Galileo satellites.

  • Alan Bond, Co-Founder, Reaction Engines Ltd.

For the development of the SKYLON spaceplane to provide cheaper access to space for the benefit of mankind.

  • Stuart Martin, CEO, Space Applications Catapult

For his dedication and commitment in leading the search for, and introduction and promotion of, satellite applications that will have significant impact on the UK economy in all areas of everyday life.

4. Space Achievement – Academic Study/Research

  • The UK Gaia Science Team – Cambridge and Leicester Universities

For its role in processing and analysing data from the Gaia star mapping mission as its contribution to the European Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.

  • Dr. Aaron Knoll – Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey

For his outstanding development of Innovative electric propulsion technologies to reduce complexity and cost and for his record flight achievements.

  • The Centre for Electronic Imaging – The Open University

For its contribution to research and skills development within the UK space sector while developing imaging sensors for major projects for ESA, NASA and other agencies worldwide.

5a. Space Achievement – Education and Outreach (Team)

  • The Cosmonauts Exhibition Team – The Science Museum

For securing invaluable space hardware and preparing exhibitions such as ‘The Cosmonauts’ to promote Space and educate the general public and for organising well-timed events and activities.

  • The Principia Space Diary Team – Curved House

For creating the Principia Space Diary to engage  pupils and teachers in and inform them of the science behind Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS.

  • The Association for Science and Discovery Centres

For the hugely successful Destination Space programme delivered in science centres across the UK in support of Tim Peake’s Principia mission.

5b. Space Achievement – Education and Outreach (Individual)

For the promotion and management of the Space Placements in Industry (SPIN) Scheme to introduce the most talented and enthusiastic University students to the UK Space Sector.

  • Victoria ‘Vix’ Southgate – VixenUK and World Space Week UK Co-ordinator, BIS

For her amazing achievement, as UK National Co-Ordinator, in promoting and co-ordinating World Space Week in the UK and her role as a STEM Ambassador.

  • Dr Helen Mason – Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University

For Leading the ‘Sun, Space and Art’ project and inspiring school children by bringing together science and art.

6. Space Achievement – Student

  • The CranSpace Mars Flyby Team – School of Engineering, Cranfield University

For the Cranspace 8-student team’s proposal for a Mars flyby mission which won the Gemini Mars International Design Competition.

  • Nathan Bush – School of Physical Sciences, Open University

For his significant contribution, through his research into radiation damage, to the adoption of UK-developed EM-CCD sensor technology in NASA’s Wide Field Infra-Red Survey Telescope (WFIRST)  mission.

  • Nigel Grainger – Department of Engineering, University of the West of England

For, following his time at the National Space Academy, continuing to promote the UK space sector to students, teachers and senior policy makers throughout his student life and apprenticeship. 

7. Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and written

  • Will Gater – Astronomy Journalist, author and presenter

For his journalism covering the fields of astronomy and Space and for the production of his live stage show ‘The Story of the Solar System’.

  • Dallas Campbell – TV Presenter and Actor

For his enthusiasm, love of Space and his relaxed, but informative presentation style and his continued support for education and outreach.

  • Jeremy Close – Communications and PR Director UK, Airbus Defence and Space

For promoting the UK Space sector by getting space stories onto prime-time TV and into the mainstream media, taking advantage of events and achievements involving the UK’s major manufacturer, Airbus

8. Lifetime Space Achievement

  • Paul Flanagan – Secretary General, UKspace

For his many years of support for the whole UK space sector through his work in running Ukspace, the UK Space Trade Body.

  • Alan Bond – Co-Founder, Reaction Engines Ltd.

For the development of the SKYLON spaceplane to provide cheaper access to space for the benefit of mankind.

  • Professor Richard Holdaway – Professor of Space Engineering, RAL Space, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

For his 40+ years’ service to UK Space science and technology and his continued support to Academia.

9. International Space Achievement

  • Dr. Nigel Fox – Head of Earth Observation and Climate, The National Physics Laboratory

For international leadership and coordination in the application of calibrated space technologies and data standards to improve understanding of climate.

  • Chris Lee – Head of International Space Partnerships, UK Space Agency

For creating new opportunities for UK space companies in the global space sector.

  • Roy Gibson –First Director General, European Space Agency

For, as an early architect of today’s highly successful UK Space Sector,  in effect putting the UK on the European and then the International Space map