Space Foundation News
Rosetta Comet Exploration Team Earns 2015 John L. "Jack" Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration from Space Foundation
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During 2014, the remarkable success of the Rosetta Comet Mission, led by the European Space Agency (ESA), fascinated followers around the world. In recognition of this astonishing accomplishment, the Space Foundation will present the Rosetta Comet Exploration Team with the 2015 John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration.
“The 2015 Swigert Award recognizes the ESA-led Rosetta Comet Team’s successful, 20-year mission of exploration, which traversed more than six billion kilometers through the solar system before arriving at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014, and successfully placed the Philae lander on the surface of the comet on November 12, 2014,” said Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot H. Pulham. “Both Rosetta and Philae accomplished all science objectives, despite the extreme difficulty, complexity and risk profile of the mission.”
While not the first spacecraft to visit a comet, Rosetta was the first to orbit one and the first to send a lander to a comet’s surface. Rosetta’s instruments are studying the comet from orbit, and it is hoped that Rosetta’s findings will help scientists uncover some of the mysteries about how our solar system was formed.
The 2015 Swigert Award will be presented April 13 during the opening ceremony of the 31st Space Symposium at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA. The ceremony is co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman, and the award is given annually to the person or organization that has made the most significant accomplishments in advancing the exploration of space during the previous year.
About the Award
The John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration honors astronaut Jack Swigert, a Colorado native who served with retired U.S. Navy Captain James A. Lovell, Jr., 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 was a combat pilot for the U.S. Air Force in Japan and Korea and 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, but died of cancer before taking the oath of office. The Space Foundation, founded in 1983 in part to honor Swigert’s memory, created the Swigert Award in 2004 in tribute to his lasting legacy of space exploration.
Previous Swigert Award recipients:
2014 No award
2013 NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission Team
2012 NASA Kepler Mission
2011 No award
2010 The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Mission Team
2009 NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander Team
2008 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
2007 The California Institute of Technology
2006 NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
2005 NASA’s Mars Exploration Team from JPL NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission Team
About the Space Symposium
The Space Symposium is the annual gathering of all sectors of the global space community, to be held April 13 – 16 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Visit www.SpaceSymposium.org for secure online registration and complete conference information.
This article is part of Space Watch: February 2015 (Volume: 14, Issue: 2).
Posted in Space Foundation News