Space Foundation annually honors outstanding individuals and organizations for achievements in space exploration, advocacy, education, innovation and accomplishment. Award presentations, held throughout Space Symposium, highlight the best of the best in the industry.

General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award

The General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Space Foundation. It is presented annually in honor of Space Foundation's late, long-time chairman, retired U.S. Air Force General James E. Hill, at a special event held during the Space Symposium. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through lifetime contributions to the welfare or betterment of humankind through the exploration, development and use of space, or the use of space technology, information, themes or resources in academic, cultural, industrial or other pursuits of broad benefit to humanity. Nominations are solicited throughout the space industry worldwide, with the Space Foundation's Board of Directors selecting the honoree.

Nominations are closed for 2021.  Nominations will be accepted again beginning in the fall of 2022.

Hill Award Process and Criteria.pdf 524 KB


2022 Joanne Maguire
2021 Patti Grace Smith
2020 Eugene F. “Gene” Kranz
2019 Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford, USAF (Ret.).
2018 Christopher Columbus "Chris" Kraft, Jr.
2017 Piers J. Sellers, OBE, Ph.D.
2016 VADM Richard H. Truly, USN (Ret.)
2015 Jean-Jacques Dordain
2014 A. Thomas Young
2013 Neil A. Armstrong and Sally K. Ride, Ph.D.
2012 Gen. Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
2011 Charles Elachi, Ph.D.
2010 CAPT John Young, USN (Ret.)
2009 The Honorable Peter B. Teets
2008 Hans Mark, Ph.D.
2007 Simon Ramo, Ph.D.
2006 Buzz Aldrin, Ph.D.
2005 The Honorable Edward C. Aldridge, Jr.
2004 Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, USAF (Ret.)
2003 CAPT James A. Lovell, Jr., USN (Ret.)
2002 Norman R. Augustine

John L. "Jack" Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration

Space Foundation was founded in 1983, in part to honor the memory and accomplishments of astronaut John L. "Jack" Swigert, Jr. A Colorado native, Swigert 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. Space Foundation created the Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration in 2004 in tribute to his enduring legacy of space exploration. The Jack Swigert Award is presented annually at Space Symposium.

2022 NASA and the University of Arizona OSIRIS-REx team
2021 NASA JPL Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Team
2020 NASA JPL InSight-Mars Cube One
2019 NASA Dawn Mission
2018 Cassini Mission Team
2017 No award
2016 Pluto New Horizons Exploration Team
2015 Rosetta Comet Exploration Team
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

Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award

Space Foundation, in conjunction with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), annually presents the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award to recognize outstanding contributions to creative and innovative use of technology in education by K-12 educators or district-level education personnel.

The award, which is named after Mercury Astronaut Alan Shepard, honors an educator who has demonstrated a commitment to inspiring students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award is presented annually at the Space Symposium.


2020 Kaci Heins
2019 Jill Gilford
2018 Diego Martinez
2017 Ashlie Blackstone Smith
2016 Margaret Rhule Baguio
2015 June Scobee Rodgers, Ph.D.
2014 Lynne F. Zielinski
2013 Daniel R. Newmyer
2012 Dr. Cynthia D. Waters
2011 James E. Richmond
2010 Allen V. Robnett
2009 Ricardo V. Soria
2008 Kevin L. Simmons
2007 Luther W. Richardson
2006 Kathy R. Brandon
2005 Ronald F. Dantowitz
2004 Charles Geach
2003 Brian Copes
2002 Thomas F. Hunt, Frank E. Waller
2001 Lori Byrne

Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award

Each year, Space Foundation presents the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award in memory of the late Douglas S. Morrow, renowned Academy Award-winning writer and producer, space advocate and former Space Foundation Board Member, to an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the public awareness of space programs. The Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award is presented annually at Space Symposium.


2022 Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX
2021 Bill Ingalls
2020 Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum (NASM)
2019 National Space Council and its Chair, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence
2018 Margot Lee Shetterly
2017 DigitalGlobe and The Associated Press
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
2010 Leonard Nimoy, actor and director
2009 Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist
2008 Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
2007 Col. Eileen M. Collins, USAF (Ret.), former NASA astronaut
2006 Tom Hanks, actor and director
2005 The Ansari X-Prize Foundation
2004 LIFE Magazine
2003 Robert T. McCall, artist
2002 Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry
2001 Popular Science Magazine
2000 Space Awareness Alliance
1999 The Crew of the Space Shuttle Mission STS-95
1998 NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
1997 The Cable News Network (CNN)
1996 The Apollo 13 Movie Team
1995 Discovery Communication, Inc.

Space Achievement Award

Space Foundation's Space Achievement Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated attainment, breakthrough space technology or program or product success representing critical milestones in the evolution of space exploration and development. The Space Achievement Award is presented annually at Space Symposium.


2022 International Astronautical Federation
2021 U.S. Space Force (USSF)
2020 International Space Station Partners
2019 Peter Wilhelm, former Director, Naval Center for Space Technology

Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company

2018 Space Security and Defense Program
2017 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
2013 NOAA
2012 Junichiro Kawaguchi, Ph.D., JAXA
2011 JSpaceX and Telecom sans Frontieres
2010 Hubble Space Telescope Repair Mission Team
2009 China's Shenzhou 7 Manned Space Flight Team
2008 United States Air Force
2007 Bigelow Aerospace
2006 The U.S. Titan Launch Vehicle Team: Lockheed Martin, United States Air Force, The Aerospace Corporation, NASA
2005 The Inertial Upper Stage Team: The Boeing Company, United States Air Force, The Aerospace Corporation, NASA
2004 Ariane 4 Launch Team
2003 U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Teams
2002 NASA/Industry Galileo Space Probe Team and the men and women of United States Space Command and its component organizations
2001 Hubble Space Telescope Team
2000 Sea Launch
1999 NASA-Boeing International Space Station Team
1998 Gen. Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
1997 CAPT James A Lovell, Jr., USN (Ret.)
1996 American Astronautical Society
1995 Air University

Space Technology Hall of Fame®

The Space Technology Hall of Fame® honors those who transform technology originally developed for space exploration into products that help improve the quality of life here on Earth. Induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame® affords space innovators much deserved recognition, increases public awareness and encourages further innovation. The Space Foundation established the Space Technology Hall of Fame® in 1988 to increase public awareness of the benefits that result from space exploration programs and to encourage further innovation. Additional information about the Space Technology Hall of Fame®, including a complete list of inducted technologies, is available at

About Nomination and Judging

Each year, the Space Technology Hall of Fame® solicits nominations from the industry and the public. After a thorough review process that establishes whether the technologies did, indeed, have their origins in space exploration and/or research, the qualifying technologies are reviewed and ranked by a distinguished panel of judges. The inducted technologies, individuals and organizations will be honored at a special reception and dinner during the Space Symposium.


Colorado Space Heroes Hall of Fame™

The Colorado Space Heroes Hall of Fame is a Space Foundation program created to honor the astronauts, aerospace executives, government officials, scholars and other public and private sector leaders who have contributed most significantly to Colorado’s space economy as one of the most important in the nation and world.

The award is presented to individuals who have personal or professional contributions in the space arena that span a decade or more, and who have lived or worked in Colorado to a significant extent.

Honorees are determined by a solicitation of nominations and review by a volunteer selection committee recruited each year by the Space Foundation. Honorees are inducted into the Colorado Space Heroes Hall of Fame at an invitation-only gala dinner, to be held in Denver each autumn. Proceeds from the gala benefit Space Foundation education and outreach programs. More information is available at:


2020 George H. Born, Ph.D.
2020 Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, USAF (Ret.)
2020 G. Thomas Marsh
2018 Norman R. Augustine
2018 Col. James Benson "Jim" Irwin, USAF (Ret.), (Posthumous Award)
2018 Dr. Merri J. Sanchez
2016 Alan Stern, Ph.D.
2016 The Honorable Peter B. Teets
2016 General James V. Hartinger, USAF (Ret.) (Posthumous Award)
2016 Ronald M. Sega, Ph.D.

Athena Education Award

Established in 2021, the Athena Education Award recognizes the spirit, leadership and commitment of a steadfast partner to Space Foundation’s global education mission. The award honors their support in providing educational programs that build STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) engagement and allow the space leaders of tomorrow to take their part in the ever-expanding global space economy.