National Space Trophy

Each year the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation presents its most prestigious award, the National Space Trophy (NST), to an outstanding American who has made major contributions to our nation's space program.

About the Trophy

RNASA National Space Trophy
National Space Trophy
(NASA photo)
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Just as the crystal of the National Space Trophy captures the light within, so do the actions of humans exploring space capture and inspire others to strive for great achievements. Made entirely of lead crystal, the seven-foot, 500-pound, conical column rises like a graceful rocket above a base that is reminiscent of exhaust clouds or the frozen moons of some distant world. A thin white line spirals around the column, etching our pathway to the stars, drawing our attention to the bubble of air in the tip of the cone - a bubble as fragile and beautiful as human life, shining with the bright light of hope and dreams for the future.

The National Space Trophy is a seven-foot, 500-pound lead crystal sculpture designed by Steuben Glass of New York. It is on permanent display at Space Center Houston along with the original portrait of the most recent trophy recipient. The original trophy cost $35,000. It was first presented in 1987.

Nomination Information

The RNASA Foundation solicits nominations from civilian and military aerospace professionals and members of the public with knowledge of and interest in the American space program. The nominee must meet four criteria:

  1. Be a citizen of the United States of America,
  2. Have made significant contributions to the U.S. Space Program (civilian or military)
  3. The nominee's contributions must be in the fields of engineering, science, program or project management, piloting, management, administration, or a field directly benefiting U.S. space efforts, manned or unmanned, and
  4. Must be available to attend the event.

All nominations are reviewed and the winner selected by a vote of the Board of Advisors of the RNASA Foundation. The Board of Advisors consists of over sixty prominent members of the aerospace industry and U.S. government agencies.

NST Nominations

During the time of nominations period, a NST Nomination Form will be posted on this page and must be filled out by the deadline to be considered by the Board of Advisors. Direct any questions to RNASA Chairman Rodolfo González.

Nominations for Other Awards

Please see the Communicator Award and Stellar Award pages for information on nominations for those awards.

National Space Trophy Winners

2018 Mr. Robert Lightfoot
2017 Dr. John Grunsfeld
2016 Dr. Charles Elachi
2015 Col. Robert D. Cabana
2014 NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden
2013 Kay Bailey Hutchison
2012 Michael L. Coats
2011 General Kevin P. Chilton
2010 William H. Gerstenmaier
2009 Dr. Michael D. Griffin
2008 Capt. Gene Cernan, USN (Ret.)
2007 Gene Kranz
2006 Col. Eileen Collins, USAF (Ret.)
2005 Dr. Glynn S. Lunney
2004 Neil A. Armstrong
2003 Roy Estess

2002 Dr. George E. Mueller
2001 Tommy Holloway
2000 Capt. John W. Young, USN (Ret.)
1999 Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr.
1998 George H.W. Bush
1997 George W.S. Abbey
1996 Capt. Robert L. Crippen, USN (Ret.)
1995 Daniel Goldin
1994 Pete Aldridge
1993 Lt. Gen. Thomas Stafford, USAF (Ret.)
1992 Dr. Norman Augustine
1991 Dr. Aaron Cohen
1990 Dr. Lew Allen
1989 V. Adm. Richard Truly, USN (Ret.)
1988 Hon. Don Fuqua
1987 Dr. Maxime Faget

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