It’s Time for the 2020 SpaceNews Awards

Deadline: This year’s call for nominations closes Friday, Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. Eastern.

The SpaceNews Awards have been held each year since 2017 to celebrate excellence and innovation in the global space industry. Past winners include U.S. Space Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond,  SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell, ESA Director General Jan Woerner and many more. A detailed look at all past winners can be found here, here and here.

The 2020 SpaceNews Awards will be given to organizations, programs and people with demonstrable achievements in the space arena during the preceding 12 months.

This year, we seek to recognize winners in the following categories:

  • Mission of the Year (Commercial, Government)
  • Government Leader of the Year
  • Startup of the Year
  • Company of the Year (Small/Medium, Large)
  • Company Leader of the Year (Small/Medium, Large)
  • Space Stewardship Award
  • Readers’ Choice Award


Eligibility: The SpaceNews Awards Committee  looks for people, programs and organizations making an impact in their field, giving preference to those with the most newsworthy achievements over the 12 months preceding the call for nominees. Previous winners are ineligible to win the same category.

Mission of the Year: This award is open to any commercial or government space mission that achieved something notable in the preceding 12 month.

Government Leader of the Year Award: This award  is open to any government employee or elected official in a leadership position, regardless of title.

Startup of the Year Award: This award is open to any entrepreneurial space venture that still relies on investment capital to fund its growth and produces little or no revenue relative to expenses. Generally speaking, the SpaceNews Awards Committee is looking for companies founded during the preceding five years. Please include the date founded under “Reason for Nomination.”

Company/Company Leader of the Year Awards: For the purpose of this year’s awards, companies with fewer than 2,500 employees are eligible for the Small/Medium categories. Companies with more than 2,500 employees are classed as Large. The Company Leader award is open to any private-sector employee in a leadership role, regardless of title. Please include company size under “Reason for Nomination.”

Space Stewardship Award: This award will be given to the person, program or organization that made a significant contribution to preserving and protecting the orbital commons.

Readers’ Choice Award: Since so much about 2020 defies categorization, we want to give SpaceNews readers the opportunity to recognize excellence and innovation wherever it can be found, regardless of pre-defined award categories. If you know of a space achievement worthy of recognition regardless of category, please submit it via our nomination form. Finalists for the cross-cutting award will be chosen by online polling.

Create your own user feedback survey


• SpaceNews readers are invited to submit nominations for all 10 categories plus the Readers’ Choice. Nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 16.
• All finalists and winners, with the exception of Readers’ Choice, will be determined by the SpaceNews Awards Committee.

• Winners will be honored during a virtual SpaceNews Awards ceremony and included in the Dec. 14 issue of SpaceNews magazine.


Questions about the SpaceNews Awards ceremony and sponsorship should be directed to Paige McCullough, SpaceNews business development director (pmccullough at

All other questions about the awards should be directed (sparingly and judiciously) to SpaceNews Editor-in-Chief Brian Berger (bberger at