The Space Foundation announced today that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the 2006 recipient of the Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration. The award, which honors the memory of Apollo 13 astronaut and Colorado Congressman-elect Jack Swigert, will be presented Monday, April 3 in Colorado Springs during the Opening Ceremony of the 22nd National Space Symposium.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was chosen as the recipient for its successful management and operation of a vibrant portfolio of inspiring space exploration programs including the Mars Global Surveyor, the Cassini-Huygens probe to Saturn and its moon Titan, the Stardust spacecraft, the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Deep Impact mission, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

“JPL continues to blaze new trails of exploration and expand the edges of our known world,” said Elliot G. Pulham, president and chief executive officer of the Space Foundation. “We are pleased to honor JPL for its ongoing work to venture into the unknown and report to the world what it finds.”

The Space Foundation was founded in 1983, in part to honor the memory and accomplishments of astronaut John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr. The Space Foundation created the Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration in 2004 in tribute to his enduring legacy of space exploration. The NASA Mars Exploration Team from JPL was the first recipient of the award. The 2005 recipient was President George W. Bush.

A Colorado native, Swigert served with CAPT James Lovell, USN (Retired), and Fred Haise on the legendary Apollo 13 lunar mission, which was aborted after the perilous rupture of an oxygen tank en route to the moon. People around the world watched as NASA overcame tremendous odds to return the crew safely to Earth. Before joining the Apollo program, Swigert served with the U.S. Air Force as a combat pilot in Japan and Korea and then as an engineering test pilot for North American Aviation, Inc. and Pratt and Whitney. In 1982, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He died of cancer before taking the oath of office.

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, The Honorable Dr. Ronald M. Sega, under secretary of the Air Force, The Honorable Ken Calvert, United States House of Representatives, The Honorable Mark Udall, United States House of Representatives, and Lt Gen C. Robert Kehler, USAF, deputy commander, United States Strategic Command, 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. For more information, visit