In the ever-changing landscape of the space industry, the SpaceNews Awards consistently recognize and celebrate the leaders and pioneers who push the boundaries of innovation and redefine expectations.

This year, we are pleased to announce that U.S. Space Force Col. Richard Kniseley, the head of Space Systems Command’s Commercial Space Office (COMSO), will deliver the keynote address at the SpaceNews 2023 Icon Awards on Dec. 5 in Washington. 

Under the leadership of Col. Kniseley, COMSO fosters Space Force collaboration with the commercial space sector. With outposts in Los Angeles and Chantilly, Virginia, COMSO’s bi-coastal team of about 90 professionals evaluates commercial space capabilities for the Department of Defense. Their focus is on optimizing defense requirements by leveraging the dynamism of the commercial space industry while reducing costs.

Col. Kniseley will accept a 2023 SpaceNews Icon Award on behalf of COMSO, selected by SpaceNews journalists as the Military Space Organization of the Year for 2023. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by Col. Kniseley and his team in reshaping the military space landscape.

Col. Kniseley’s COMSO is just the first of six SpaceNews Icons we are naming for 2023. 

Over the coming days, we will spotlight the two dozen honorees in the running for the other five SpaceNews Icon Awards to be presented Dec. 5. 

This year’s winners were carefully chosen by SpaceNews journalists with valuable input from past award winners. 

Join us Dec. 5 to celebrate the achievements of the space industry and hear Col. Richard Kniseley’s keynote address. Stay tuned for more updates and the full list of honorees! 

Visit for event updates and to purchase tickets.