Andy Weir’s debut novel The Martian captivated readers when it was first published as a blog in 2011. Weir’s fictional story of NASA astronaut Mark Watney’s struggle to survive on Mars attracted the interest of a broad population, well beyond the ranks of space fans. Enthusiasm for the story propelled the book to The New York Times Best Seller list in 2014, and to a major film adaptation in 2015, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon.

For his achievement in reigniting popular interest in human spaceflight, Andy Weir has been selected the 2016 recipient of the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award.

“Few works have generated the interest in spaceflight, NASA and the exploration of Mars to the extent of Andy Weir’s story The Martian,” said Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham. “Online, in print and on the big screen, The Martian has been a cultural phenomenon.”

The award will be presented on April 11 during the opening ceremony of the Space Foundation’s 32nd Space Symposium, taking place in the International Center of The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA. The ceremonies are co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

About Andy Weir

Weir describes himself as a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics and the history of manned spaceflight. He was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen, and has been working as a software engineer since.

About the Morrow Award

The award’s namesake was an Academy Award-winning writer and producer, space advocate and early member of the board of directors of the Space Foundation. The award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to public understanding of, and support for, space programs.

Recent recipients have included:

2015 NASA/Industry EFT-1 Team
2014 Col. Chris Hadfield (Ret.), former Canadian astronaut
2013 Bill Nye, CEO, The Planetary Society
2012 NASA Social Media Team
2011 Jay Barbree, NBC News; Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press; William Harwood, CBS News
2010 Leonard Nimoy, actor and director

About the Space Symposium

The Space Symposium is the annual gathering of all sectors of the global space community, to be held April 11-14 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Visit for secure online registration and complete conference information. A discount on standard industry registration is currently available if paid by March 11, 2016.


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About the Space Foundation

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere® and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. The Space Foundation has a field office in Houston and conducts government affairs from its Washington, D.C., office. It annually publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space CertificationTM and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Flickr and YouTube, and read our e-newsletter Space Watch.