Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation Announces 2019 Space Achievement Award Recipients

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 4, 2019) – The Space Foundation’s 35th Space Symposium will open on April 8 with awards recognizing the major space accomplishments of 2018. The Space Achievement Award annually celebrates individuals or organizations for critical milestones in the evolution of space exploration and development. For 2019, the Space Achievement Award recipients will be:

  • Peter Wilhelm, former Director, Naval Center for Space Technology
  • Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company

Pete Wilhelm is being recognized for his work as a trailblazer in national security space technology at the Naval Research Laboratory and Naval Center for Space Technology. During his more than 50-year career at the Naval Research Laboratory, Wilhelm led development and deployment of nearly 100 satellites for national defense and intelligence gathering.

Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company are being recognized for the SpaceShipTwo commercial sub-orbital spaceflight to the edge of space. Designed for space tourism, SpaceShipTwo’s December 2018 flight to space paved the way for a future fleet of spaceplanes. SpaceShipTwo is manufactured by The Spaceship Company, owned by Virgin Galactic.

Recent recipients of the Space Achievement Award have included:

  • 2018 Space Security and Defense Program
  • 2017 Year in Space Mission of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko
  • 2016 SpaceX
  • 2015 X-37B OTV Team
  • 2014 U.S. Air Force GPS Team

The opening ceremony, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman, will be held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, site of the Space Symposium, which attracts thousands of space leaders from around the world to the four-day conference. Visit for the agenda and speakers, as well as secure online registration.

About the Space Foundation

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the world’s premier organization to inspire, educate, connect, and advocate on behalf of the global space community. It is a leader in space awareness activities, educational programs, and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium. Space Foundation headquarters is in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, and has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere®, and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. The Space Foundation has a Washington, D.C., office and field representatives in Houston and the Florida Space Coast. It publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space Certification™ and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit both of our websites – and – and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


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Space Foundation Media Contact:

Carol Hively, Director Public Relations & Team Communications

[email protected]