Space Symposium

DigitalGlobe and The Associated Press will Receive Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award

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DigitalGlobe and journalists with The Associated Press (AP) worked together to deliver critical public visibility of modern day slavery in the fishing industry, helping the public at large gain a better understanding of how the use of space technology can improve the quality of life on Earth.

The combination of DigitalGlobe satellite intelligence, and investigative reporting by Esther Htusan, Margie Mason, Robin McDowell and Martha Mendoza of The Associated Press, resulted in the freeing of more than 2,000 slaves, as well as multiple arrests, the seizure of ships and the passage of legislation that bars slave-produced goods from being sold in the United States.

Over the course of an 18-month investigation, the AP journalists located men held in cages, tracked ships and stalked refrigerated trucks to expose the abusive practices of the fishing industry in Southeast Asia, putting themselves at personal risk in the process. Needing the final piece of visual evidence to make their case in July 2015, the reporters turned to DigitalGlobe, operators of the world’s highest resolution commercial imaging satellites. The company tasked its WorldView-3 high-resolution satellite and captured the “golden image,” showing a commercial fishing boat accepting catch from two slave boats off the coast of Papua New Guinea. To learn more about the operation, visit DigitalGlobe’s See Freedom microsite.

The AP reporters were awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. On April 3, DigitalGlobe CEO Jeff Tarr will accept the Space Foundation’s 2017 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award on behalf of both organizations. The award ceremony is featured during the opening ceremony of the Space Foundation’s 33rd Space Symposium, a four-day global space conference to be held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.

See more about the Symposium at

Go to to read “AP Investigation: Are slaves catching the fish you buy?”

About the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award
The Space Foundation annually presents the Morrow Award to an organization or individual who has made significant contributions to the public awareness and understanding of space programs and technology. The award’s namesake was an Academy Award-winning writer and producer, space advocate and early member of the board of directors of the Space Foundation. Past recipients have included:
2016 Andy Weir, author
2015 NASA/Industry EFT-1 Team
2014 Col. Chris Hadfield (Ret.), former Canadian astronaut
2013 Bill Nye, CEO, The Planetary Society
2012 NASA Social Media Team
2011 Jay Barbree, NBC News; Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press; William Harwood, CBS News

About DigitalGlobe
DigitalGlobe is a global provider of commercial high-resolution Earth imagery, sourced from its satellite constellation and aerial network to support a range of applications, such as defense and intelligence, civil agencies, mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration and infrastructure management. On the web, visit

About The Associated Press
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the web

Co-sponsors include: AECOM; a.i. solutions; Airbus Safran Launchers; AGI; ASRC Federal; BAE Systems; Ball Aerospace; Blue Origin; Boeing; Booz Allen Hamilton; The Broadmoor; Colorado Space Coalition; Cosmic AES; Dynetics; El Pomar Foundation; Euroconsult; Eutelsat; Griffin Communications Group; Harris; i3 Electronics; Inmarsat; ISPCS; L3 Technologies; Lockheed Martin; Maui Economic Development Board; Northrop Grumman; Orbital Systems; RBC Signals; Raytheon; Secure World Foundation; SES Government Solutions; SpaceX; SpincraftStellar Solutions; Stratasys; Tesat Spacecom; United Launch Alliance (ULA); USRA; ViaSat; X-1R Corporation. Our media partners are Aviation Week; ROOM; Satnews; Space News.

Image “©2017 DigitalGlobe”

This article is part of Space Watch: April 2017 (Volume: 16, Issue: 4).