NASA's Dawn mission, representing the first spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial targets, was honored with the National Aeronautic Association Robert J. Collier Trophy at a presentation in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday, June 9, 2016.
The award, presented annually, was given to Dawn "In recognition of the extraordinary achievements of orbiting and exploring protoplanet Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, and advancing the nation's technological capabilities in pioneering new frontiers in space travel."
The 8-foot-tall (2.4-meter-tall) trophy resides at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington and is engraved with the names of recipients. Dawn competed with a field of nine finalists to win this year's award. Dawn's mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Previous Collier Trophy recipients involving JPL missions include the teams from NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (2012) and Voyager (1980).
"All of us at NASA are very proud of our Dawn team. For the past eight years, Dawn has taught us much about Vesta and Ceres, and in a broader sense, about ourselves," said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman. "This mission isn't only for scientists. It's for all of us who want to discover the nature of uncharted worlds and share that discovery with all who gaze up at the night sky in wonderment."
Dawn is a project of NASA's Science Mission Directorate Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. For a complete list of mission participants, visit:
More information about Dawn is available at the following sites:
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.