The 2nd annual SpaceNews Awards for Excellence & Innovation honor excellence and innovation among space professionals, companies, programs and organizations during the previous 12 months. We are seeking nominations for the following awards:

  • Company of the Year
  • Government Agency of the Year
  • Corporate Leader of the Year
  • Government Leader of the Year
  • Unsung Hero of the Year
  • Startup of the Year
  • Turnaround of the Year
  • Breakthrough of the Year
  • Deal of the Year

Submit Your Nominations by Sept. 30.

To submit multiple nominations, just return to this page and click the link above again.

Selection Process

Beginning Sept. 1: Readers submit nominations for nine awards categories.

Mid-September to Mid-October:  SpaceNews’ panel of judges select finalists from community nominations.

Mid-October to early November: Readers vote on finalists via

Mid-November: Winners will be notified.

Early December:  Winners will be announced in the Dec. 2 issue of SpaceNews magazine and honored at a SpaceNews awards luncheon in Washington, D.C.

 Cobham is the presenting sponsor of the 2018 SpaceNews awards


Additional support from


2017 Winners & Finalists


Company of the Year: SpaceX

Runner up: Planet

Finalists: Arianespace; Maxar Technologies; Nanoracks

Corporate Leader of the Year:  Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX

Runner up: Jeffrey Manber, Nanoracks

Finalists: Rick Ambrose, Lockheed Martin; Jason Andrews, Andrews Space; Kirk Pysher, ILS

Government Leader of the Year (Military): Gen. John Hyten

Runner up: Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing

Finalists: Robert Cardillo, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Gordon Roesler and the DARPA Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites team

Government Leader of the Year 
(Civil): Étienne Schneider

Runner up: George Nield, FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation

Finalists: Jean-Yves Le Gall, CNES; Catherine Mealing-Jones, U.K. Space Agency

Government Agency of the Year: 
45th Space Wing

Runner up: Indian Space Research Organisation

Finalists: FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

Deal of the Year:
Maxar Technologies

Runner up: Planet buys Terra Bella

Finalists: Speedcast buys UtilSat; Teledyne buys e2V; Virgin Group lands $1 billion Saudi investment

Breakthrough of the Year: Planet completes Mission 1

Runner up: SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 booster

Finalists: Spectrolab’s XTJ Prime solar cell; Lockheed Martin’s SPIDER flat optical instrument; Sodern’s Auriga miniaturized star trackers; Space System Loral’s Ultra High Density Satellite

Startup of the Year:

Runner up: Sky and Space Global

Finalists: LeoLabs; Made In Space; Rocket Lab

Turnaround of the Year:
  International Launch Services

Runner up:  Orbital ATK

Finalists: Alaska Aerospace Corp.; Spacecom; SpaceX

Unsung Hero of the Year: 
Jason Crusan, NASA

Runner up: Frank “Ceppi” Cepollina, NASA

Finalists: R. Gilbert “Gil” Moore, Utah State University; Tom Mueller, SpaceX; Guy Perez, OHB; Eric Rehder, Boeing Spectrolab

Brian Berger is editor in chief of and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...