Recognize the stars of the space community.

Nominations are now being accepted for multiple American Astronautical Society awards. AAS awards will be bestowed for meritorious accomplishments by individuals or teams in the space community.

The nomination deadline for these awards is coming up soon, November 13! Nominators of the selected recipient will receive FREE registration to an AAS hosted event. Winners will be announced in late November. 


Awards open for nominations include:

  • 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.
  • Patti Grace Smith Award for significant contribution to growth of young professionals in the space industry.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • Earth Science and Applications Award recognizes an outstanding achievement in Earth or Environmental Sciences.
  • 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.
  • Space Technology Award recognizes an outstanding achievement in space technology.
  • Space Entrepreneurship Award recognizes the successful introduction of new technologies and production methods into the market by entrepreneurs.
  • Dirk Brouwer Award recognizes significant technical contributions to spaceflight mechanics and astrodynamics. (See specific criteria for the Brouwer award.)
  • Advancement of International Cooperation Award for outstanding contributions in advancing international astronautics activities.
  • Carl Sagan Memorial Award to an individual who has demonstrated leadership in research or policies advancing exploration of the Cosmos.



The AAS awards submittal instructions/criteria is as follows:

  • 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.
  • Nominations by members of the Awards Committee must be documented in this same manner.
  • Generally, AAS Awards will be bestowed for meritorious accomplishments during the previous year. However, meritorious accomplishments prior to then, not previously honored by AAS award recognition, are equally acceptable and will receive full consideration.  Likewise, accomplishments of an individual over a sustained period of time will be sufficient to merit the granting of any relevant AAS award.  As a rule, any nominee who received an AAS award within the preceding 3 years will not be considered for additional awards.
  • Note: The Brouwer Award has specific nomination criteria shown on the AAS website.
  • Awards Submittal Instructions
    • Required for each nomination is a document (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 not to exceed 2 pages each item, is desirable, but not mandatory (e.g. curriculum vitae).
    • Other letters of recommendation supporting the nomination may be submitted.