Stellar Awards

Stellar Awards Trophies
Stellar Awards Trophies
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Each year, the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement solicits nominations for Stellar Awards for individual and team achievements from the government, military, and industry. In order to ensure recognition of individuals at all stages of their careers, nominations are solicited in four categories: early career, mid-career, late-career, and teams. The nominations are reviewed by a Stellar Awards Evaluation Panel of distinguished scientists, engineers, managers, and academicians who select the winners based on who's accomplishments hold the greatest promise for furthering future activities in space. The winners in each category are announced at the spring gala. Presentation of the Stellar Awards trophies (see right) is made by a pair of current astronauts.

All Stellar Awards nominees are invited for a special day of activities at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. These activities usually include a behind-the-scenes guided tour of Center facilities and a luncheon presentation by a well-known person from the space community. The 2015 Stellar Awards luncheon speaker is Mark S. Geyer, Program Manager for NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MCPV). A list of previous years' luncheon presenters can be found on the Stellar Awards Luncheon Speakers page.

What is it like to be a Stellar Nominee? Read 2011 Nominee Stephen Zenter's blog.

Nominations for Stellar Awards are solicited each fall. Please contact Stellar Awards Committee Chairman Jenny Devolites,, for information on how to participate.

Citations of the nominees are published in the program books each year. See Program Book page to view copies of printed books. The list of winners and photos from previous years is posted below.

Previous Stellar Award Winners

Stellar Award winners are selected based on which accomplishments hold the greatest promise for furthering future activities in space, the extent to which the nominee played a key role in the accomplishment, and the extent to which the nominee meets the goal of recognizing heroes of the American space program. In addition, nominees in the early career category are evaluated based on the extent to which the nominee's past accomplishments demonstrates the potential for future contributions. Winners in each of four categories are announced at the banquet.

Stellar Awards were first presented in 1989. Four awards to individuals were presented in 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1993. No awards were given in 1992 or 1994. Two team awards were presented in 1995, and two individual awards were presented in 1996. Awards by categories to multiple individuals began in 1997.

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