The Space Foundation announced today that Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Jr., Colonel, USAF (Retired), is the 2006 recipient of its highest award – the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. Aldrin will be honored at a special luncheon on Wednesday, April 5 in Colorado Springs during the 22nd National Space Symposium.

The Space Foundation annually presents the Hill award in honor of its late, long-time chairman, retired U.S. Air Force General James E. Hill. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through lifetime contributions to the welfare or betterment of humankind through the exploration, development and use of space, or the use of space technology, information, themes or resources in academic, cultural, industrial or other pursuits of broad benefit to humanity. Nominations are solicited from throughout the space industry worldwide, and the board of directors of the Space Foundation selects the honoree.

Aldrin was selected for his extraordinary and sustained impact in manned space exploration and his continual efforts to advance the interests of the United States through its space assets. Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first two men to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969, as part of the Apollo XI mission.

Aldrin earned a doctorate in Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Manned Space Rendezvous and was selected by NASA as an astronaut in October 1963. Techniques he devised were used on all NASA missions, including the first space docking with the Russian cosmonauts. He logged more than 290 hours of flying time in space, including eight hours of Extra-Vehicular Activity. For his achievements in space, Aldrin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

Since retiring from NASA, the Air Force, and his position as commander of the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Aldrin remains committed to encouraging manned space exploration of the universe. He served on The Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry, which reported to Congress and the administration nine recommendations for ensuring the United States’ global leadership in the aerospace industry.

Aldrin is the founder of Starcraft Enterprises and a leading advocate of future space efforts. In addition, he has received a U.S. patent for his design of a permanent space station and founded a rocket design company, Starcraft Boosters, Inc., and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to making space tourism accessible to all people. Aldrin also has authored two space novels, an autobiography, and an historical documentary.

This year marks the fifth annual presentation of the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. The Colorado Space Coalition is co-sponsoring the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award Luncheon on April 5, 2006. Previous award recipients are Edward C. “Pete” Aldridge, Jr., Gen Bernard A. Schriever, USAF (Retired), CAPT James Lovell, Jr., USN (Retired), and Norman R. Augustine.

The National Space Symposium is the premier annual space industry conference, and is scheduled April 3-6, 2006, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The programming theme for the 22nd National Space Symposium is “One industry, go for launch.” Dr. Michael Griffin, administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and The Honorable Dr. Ronald M. Sega, under secretary of the Air Force, are early confirmed speakers.

More than 7,000 commercial, civil, and national security space professionals from around the world are expected to participate. The event draws the most senior executive leadership from NASA and other space and government agencies, the commercial space and satellite broadcasting industry, research universities and academia, space tourism concerns, the Department of Defense, military space commands and the global space industry.

The 22nd symposium also features the largest-ever exhibit hall in the Lockheed Martin Exhibit Center. An updated program agenda, exhibitor list, complete list of sponsors, and secure registration can be found online at

About the Space Foundation

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Space Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. In addition to the National Space Symposium, the Space Foundation annually conducts, along with its partnering organizations, Inside Aerospace, April 24-25, 2006; Strategic Space and Defense, 10-12 Oct. 2006, in Omaha, Neb.; and Florida Space, Nov. 13-15, 2006 in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit