Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation Recognizes Neil deGrasse Tyson with Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 6, 2009) — Known for his enthusiastic, comprehensible, and clever explanations of the mysteries of space to the general public, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., is the recipient of the Space Foundation’s 2009 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award. The award will be presented during the spectacular Opening Ceremony of the 25th National Space Symposium on March 30.

Scheduled for March 30 – April 2, 2009, at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., the 25th National Space Symposium is the premier annual gathering of the global space community.

“Neil Tyson is the intergalactic space poet laureate of our time,” said Elliot Pulham, Space Foundation chief executive officer. “He connects people with the universe with wit, humor and astrophysical genius that has proven irresistible to his millions of readers, viewers, students, lecture guests and fans the world over.”

The Space Foundation annually presents the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to public awareness of space programs. The award honors the late Douglas S. Morrow, renowned Academy Award winning writer and producer, space advocate, and former director of the Space Foundation.

Dr. Tyson, born and raised in New York City, graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and went on to earn his B.A. in Physics from Harvard and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia. Since then, Dr. Tyson has received nine honorary doctorates and has been twice appointed by former President George W. Bush to serve on commissions studying the U.S. Aerospace Industry and U.S. Space Exploration policy. He currently holds the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, the first person to do so.

Dr. Tyson’s impressive career in space public outreach has included nine books and numerous writings in dozens of professional publications, including monthly essays for Natural History magazine. His book, Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith, is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series Origins, in which Dr. Tyson serves as on-camera host. Dr. Tyson also the on-camera host of PBS-NOVA’s spinoff program NOVA ScienceNOW, which is an accessible look at the science that shapes the understanding of our place in the universe.

Dr. Tyson’s latest two books are the playful and informative Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, which was a New York Times bestseller, and The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, chronicling his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto’s planetary status.

Photographs available upon request.

Previous Morrow Award recipients include astronaut Eileen Collins, actor and director Tom Hanks, the X PRIZE Foundation, LIFE magazine, space artist Robert T. McCall, the late Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Popular Science magazine, the crew of Space Shuttle Mission STS-95, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Cable News Network (CNN).

Presented by the Space Foundation, the symposium brings together all sectors of space – civil, commercial, national security, new space entrepreneurship, and finance – to highlight accomplishments and address opportunities and issues facing the global space community today. With its theme The Next Space Age, this year’s program focuses on major shifts in the economies, philosophies, and mechanics of the global space industry.

The symposium offers workshops, forums, panels and presentations covering all aspects of space, a number of special dinners and luncheons and presentation of several prestigious space-related awards, including the Morrow Award, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award, the Space Achievement Award, and the John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration. The Symposium concludes with the Space Technology Hall of Fame Dinner, which honors technologies, organizations, and individuals for transforming space technology into commercial products that improve life on Earth.

The Symposium also includes extensive programs for selected teachers and students, a space technology career fair, and 45,000 square feet of exhibits in the Boeing Exhibit Center representing more than 140 organizations and companies. More than 7,500 registrants, guests, speakers, exhibitors, and media representatives from around the world are expected to attend.

Co-sponsors of the symposium include The Aerospace Corporation, Aerojet, Analytical Graphics, Inc, ATK, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boeing, Cisco Systems, Inc., Cobham, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Hitachi Consulting, Infinite Links, Intelsat General Corporation, International Space University, ITT, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Lockheed Martin, The Mitre Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Raytheon, Regis University, SEAKR Engineering, Inc., SAIC, Stellar Solutions, United Launch Alliance, United Space Alliance, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and Webster University. Media partners are Aviation Week and Space News.

Online registration and more information, including an updated program agenda, confirmed speaker list, and exhibitor list, are available at

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is an international nonprofit organization advancing space-related endeavors to inspire, enable, and propel humanity. A leader in space awareness activities, major industry events, and educational enterprises that bring space into the classroom, the Space Foundation is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo. It conducts research and analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C., office and has field representatives in Houston, Texas, and Cape Canaveral, Fla. In addition to the 25th National Space Symposium, the Space Foundation, along with partnering organizations, will also conduct Space Business Forum: New York on June 4, 2009, in New York, N.Y., and Strategic Space and Defense 2009 from Oct. 6 – 8, 2009, in Omaha, Neb. For more information, visit