May 7, 2015
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Arthur C. Clarke Award for “Station Eleven”

Congratulations to author Emily St. John Mandel in winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award for her novel “Station Eleven.”

Emily St. John Mandel (Photo credit: Dese'Rae L. Stage)

Emily St. John Mandel (Photo credit: Dese’Rae L. Stage)


Via The Guardian

Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel’s haunting tale of a global pandemic that wipes out civilisation, has won this year’s Arthur C Clarke award for science fiction.

The novel interweaves a story set in Year Twenty after the “Georgia Flu” has killed almost all humanity with flashbacks to the final days of civilisation. By focusing on a troupe of travelling actors and musicians bringing Shakespeare to America’s isolated survivors in the aftermath of disaster, Mandel explores the power of memory and the human need for art and culture. Continue Reading →

April 20, 2015
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Sir Arthur C. Clarke Collection Arrives at The Smithsonian’s NASM

Images of Arthur C. Clarke through the years. In the lower left photo, Clarke is with his brother Fred and their mother, Nora. Image Number: NASM2014-07005 Credit: National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Images of Arthur C. Clarke through the years. In the lower left photo, Clarke is with his brother Fred and their mother, Nora.
Image Number: NASM2014-07005
Credit: National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution

We are happy to read today’s press release from The Smithsonian Instutition’s National Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has acquired a large collection from the Arthur C. Clarke Trust. The collection consists of 87 cubic feet of material representing the life’s work of one of the 20th-century’s foremost science fiction writers and futurists. The collection will be made available to researchers in the museum’s archives after being processed and cataloged.

“Arthur C. Clarke’s papers are a signature acquisition for the Smithsonian and the National Air and Space Museum,” said Martin Collins, curator of civilian applications satellites at the museum. “We have the honor of preserving and making available to researchers Clarke’s prominent place in the cultural history of spaceflight. Not least, the collection will enable the museum to tell a richer story of how science fiction and futurism interacted with contemporaneous space achievements, shaping our ideas about exploration beyond the Earth.”

Clarke, well known for penning the novel and screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, was a writer of both science fiction and science fact. His contributions to the rapid technological development of the mid-20th century included popularizing the concept of a network of geostationary communications satellites—a cornerstone of 21st-century society—as early as 1945, 12 years before the launch of Sputnik. Clarke was also a noted deep-sea explorer, inventor and television personality. He covered the Apollo 11 mission for CBS alongside Walter Cronkite.

The Arthur C. Clarke Collection contains correspondence with notable contemporaries, including Cronkite, cosmologist Carl Sagan, aerospace engineer Werner von Braun and Smithsonian astronomer Fred Whipple. Other material in the collection includes video tapes, 16 mm films, audio tapes personal items and early drafts of the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Curator Martin Collins and Archivist Patti Williams traveled to Clarke’s home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to catalog, pack and ship the collection to the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Support for the team’s travel and shipment of the collection were provided by FedEx.

Curator Dr. Martin Collins summed it up in a blog post…

From this vantage, Clarke’s interest in science fiction, as is evident throughout his papers, was not merely incidental but central: It was his essential tool, perhaps the best one, for sorting through and understanding this condition and educating readers about the time in which they were living. This insight helps makes sense, too, of his mix of professional activities: his many books and articles popularizing science and technology, especially on the themes of space technology and exploration, and his many speculations on the future. These efforts and his science fiction writing were all parts of the same project. In his later years, Clarke often said, if he was to have a legacy, he wanted it to be as a writer—asking to be seen whole, not fragmented across his different types of work.

We look forward to reading more in an upcoming issue of Smithsonian magazine story.

March 30, 2015
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Edelson Scholarship

On Friday night George Washington University hosted a dinner at The Ritz-Carlton for sponsors of scholarships and recipients. This year’s Edelson Scholarship winner is Jose Hernandez, a graduating senior in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His senior project was to design a “secure keyless entry” for a home or commercial building. He has been hired to go to work for Accenture Consulting and will be working in the D.C. area. He lives in Maryland but his family is from El Salvador. He is a bright and enthusiastic person who is very appreciative of having the support of the Edelson scholarhip.


The Professor Burton I. Edelson Memorial Schlarship was established in 2002 by Daniel C. Edelson, Joseph N. Pelton, Neil Helm and friends of Professor Burton I. Edelson. The income earned by this fund supports scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students in the School Of Engineering and Applied Science in the electrical and computer engineeing or computer science departments.

March 19, 2015
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2014 Arthur C. Clarke Awards Presentation

Lifetime Achievement Award

Hon. Norman Augustine
World renowned leader in the U.S. Government and National Space Industry

Innovator Award
Skybox Imaging
Groundbreaking space imaging leader which has embraced the new, small satellite technology

Impact of Imagination on Society Award
Larry Niven
Author of Science Fiction and Fantasy Works for adults and children

October 9, 2014
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Winners of the 2014 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards


The Royal Aeronautical Society, Wednesday 8 October 2014

The 2014 Sir Arthur Clarke Award Ceremony was hosted at The Royal Aeronautical Society on Wednesday 8th October.   British Interplanetary Society President Alistair Scott welcomed the guests and nominees and Dr David Parker, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, sponsor of the Award Ceremony, announced the winner of each of the eight categories and presented the glass Award Monoliths. Please see details of the winners below.

The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards have been presented annually in the UK since 2005 in recognition of notable or outstanding achievements in, or contributions to, all space activities.

Having taken over full responsibility for The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards after the 2012 award ceremony, The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation is pleased to be working with the UK Space Agency and the British Interplanetary Society, the organiser of the competition.

Nominations were invited from the general public and a nominations panel made up of senior representatives from all areas of the space sector from 15 April 2014.  Nominations closed on 8th August 2014 and the judging panel selected the three finalists in each of the eight Award categories.
Though primarily designed to reward UK teams and individuals for their achievements over the past year, 2013-2014, the Awards, once again, include International and Lifetime Achievement categories. The final selection of the Award winners in each category was by secret ballot with the exception of the International Space Achievement Award which was selected by the Arthur C Clarke Foundation.

The judging process was overseen and coordinated by Mrs. Suszann Parry, Executive Secretary of the British Interplanetary Society, of which Sir Arthur was an honoured member for many years.  As Chair of the Judging panel, Mrs. Angie Edwards, niece of Sir Arthur and UK Board Member of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation held the casting vote.
For further information please contact:

Alistair Scott
Board Member, the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation
President, the British Interplanetary Society
c/o 27/29 South Lambeth Road
Vauxhall, LONDON, SW8 1SZ
Tel: +44(0)2077353160
Mob: +44(0)7774490188

Winners of the 2014 Sir Arthur Clarke AwardsThe Royal Aeronautical Society, Wednesday 8 October 2014

1. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by a team in all space activities. This includes any activity by a commercial or government organisation that designs, manufactures, supplies or operates space systems, equipment or hardware, or supports and promotes the space industry.
Winner:   The ESA/industry Rosetta Team –
Dr. Andrea Accomazzo, Rosetta Flight Director, ESOC, Darmstadt
Dr. Paolo Ferri, Head of Mission Operations, ESOC,  Darmstadt
Dr. Rainer Best, Rosetta Project Manager, Airbus DS, Friedrichshafen
Hans-Martin Hell, Rosetta Platform Manager, Airbus DS, Friedrichshafen
Rod Emery, Rosetta UK Platform Project Manager, Airbus DS, Stevenage
Phil McGoldrick, Rosetta UK Platform Engineering Manager, Airbus DS, Stevenage

Penny Irvine, Rosetta UK Platform System Engineer, Airbus DS, Stevenage
Dr. Stephan Ulamec, Philae Project Manager, DLR

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet-chaser mission will help scientists unlock the mysteries of the oldest building blocks of our Solar System, the comets. Launched in March 2004 the spacecraft has spent the last 10 years journeying around the solar system with two challenging flybys of asteroids Steins and Lutetia and 31 months hibernation on the way.  It finally arrived at comet 67P/ Churyumov–Gerasimenko, now affectionately known as ‘the duck’, in August 2014. There it is performing extensive observations of the comet and, on or about 11 November, will deploy the Philae lander to the surface.

The Management and Design Team deserve to be recognised for Rosetta’s amazing performance and achievements so far, while the ESA Flight Operations Team should be congratulated and rewarded for placing Rosetta “in orbit” around the comet on 6 August 2014.  This is another first for Rosetta and the team. Together the two teams are totally deserving of the Team Award.

2. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Individual
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by an individual in all space activities. This includes any activity by a commercial or government organisation that designs, manufactures, supplies or operates space systems, equipment or hardware, or supports and promotes the space industry.

John Ellwood – Ex European Space Agency
John has made many significant contributions to several major Space programmes.  He was ESA’s project manager on the Rosetta spacecraft, which after hibernating for 2.5 years in deep space and visiting two asteroids en-route (Steins and Lutetia), has in August 2014,finally been put into orbit around the small comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

John’s other achievements include a crucial role in the design of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, SOHO, launched in 1995, Payload Manager and then Project Manager of the four-spacecraft Cluster-2 mission launched from Baikonur on two Soyuz rockets in July/August 2000 and, as ESA Project Manager of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, ‘Jules Verne’, he saw the first ATV docking with the International Space Station on 3 April 2008.

Finally, he was drafted in to find a feasible way for Europe to get to Mars.  The two US-European ExoMars missions were the result, along with a long term plan for a joint mars Sample return.  Sadly, after John had retired, high level politics intervened in the US and US support was withdrawn.  Now the basic programme continues with the Russians replacing the USA as partners.

3. Space Achievement – Academic Study/Research
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space research. This includes research carried out in any subject related to space, whether in science, engineering, medicine, humanities, art or design.

Professor Louise Harra – The Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
Professor Harra has been a leading figure in the UK and international exploitation of the Japanese Hinode Satellite. She has both coordinated and encouraged many of the 900 publications that have arisen from the mission and also made very significant personal contributions to the exciting science. Moreover, while Hinode continues to operate and remains highly productive Professor Harra has gone on to be science lead and UK Co-I of a major instrument (EUI – the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager) on the ESA Solar Orbiter Mission.

4. Space Achievement – Education and Outreach
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space education and outreach. This includes: formal education at all levels, informal education, education about space, education for the space community (e.g. workforce development), education using space assets/resources, and outreach to the general public or specific target groups.

Dr Lucie Green – Department of Space and Climate Physics, MSSL, University College London
Lucie is an outstanding ambassador for UK space science through all her public engagement work.  She presents and is guest speaker on BBC TV and Radio 4, and has extensively used research as an enrichment activity to school curriculum science. Lucie has expanded MSSL’s outreach programme to give over 7000 people each year direct contact with scientists and engineers through activities tailored for school students, teachers, adult learners and the general public. Her recent highlights included hosting a visit by the Minister of State David Willetts, attending the G8 Science Meeting closing dinner and a dinner at Buckingham Palace to discuss UK scientific research.

5. Space Achievement – Student
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by an undergraduate or postgraduate student of no more than 28 years of age on 16 July 2013 for any space-related activity, from basic research to awards and outreach.

The Cranspace Team – Idriss Sisaid, Enrique Garcia Bourne, Edward Anastassacos – Idriss, Enrique and Edward have been exceptionally active and successful in their space-related extracurricular activities whilst on the Cranfield MSc course in Astronautics and Space Engineering over the past year. They were first involved in the Mars Society’s Inspiration Mars international competition to design a two person Mars flyby mission. The team’s entry reached the semi-final stage and was ranked first in the UK.  It was an extremely creative, innovative and professional effort (especially considering it was done in parallel with a full-time Masters course).  The team’s project website is here: and see also a video presentation at on an innovative system for radiation shielding and waste management which attracted the attention of the IAF and the Next Generation Plenary in Toronto in Sept/Oct 2014.

Subsequently, Idriss, Enrique and Edward participated in two further competitions, one with CNES and one with ESA, in each of which they were given a patent and challenged to develop a technical design and business case to exploit it. In the CNES competition, the team reached the final and was eventually placed a very close second, but with offers of support for development of their business idea. They have also been shortlisted for the ESA competition, the final of which will be held in the next couple of months.
Overall, the team has shown exceptional enthusiasm, talent and initiative and deserve recognition for their efforts.

6. Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and written
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space media. This includes any media related to space such as journalism, documentary, drama or other entertainment or scholarly record in any of the following forms: written, filmed, broadcast, web/internet-based or staged.
Sarah Barker and Tom Brisley -  Arrow Media
Sarah (freelance producer) and Tom produced the stunning ‘Live From Space’ series hosted by Dermot O’Leary in March 2014. Four documentaries were produced in total, for Channel 4 and the National Geographic channel, reaching an audience of millions. Their portrayal of life on board the ISS and Planet Earth was hugely inspirational, educational and enlightening and deserves recognition.

7. Lifetime Achievement
This award is made for exceptional achievement in an area of space activity. Examples of this might include lifetime achievement, breakthroughs in space science/technology, space undertakings of global impact/significance, etc.

Colin Pillinger – The Open University
Colin Pillinger, a renowned planetary scientist, started his career at the beginning of the space age with the analysis of returned Apollo samples.  He established a leading research group at Cambridge and then the Open University.  Subsequently, he turned his lab-based instruments into space-based ones by virtue of the talented team he had established.  Although the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission produced no scientific results, it caught the public imagination. His other space instrument, Ptolemy on Rosetta, is about to reach its target.  Space Science is poorer, and quieter, without Colin. This Award would be an appropriate accolade for his amazing career.

8. International Achievement
This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements which either feature or further an important international aspect in an area of space activity. The final selection and judging of this award is carried out by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.

James Lovelock – Author and proposer of The Gaia Hypothesis, UK
The choice of James Lovelock for the prestigious International Award by the Arthur C Clarke Foundation brings together the names of Britain’s two best known futurists.  Like Clarke, Lovelock’ s works combine science and imagination in ways which push the boundaries of the impossible to pave the way for progress in fields ranging from outer space to energy conservation.

Born in Letchworth, England in 1919, James Lovelock is an independent scientist, environmentalist, futurist, inventor and author. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis back in the 1960s, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling the interconnections of the chemical and physical environment.  He has written some eight books on the subject and is the author of more than 200 scientific papers.

In early 1961, Lovelock was engaged by NASA to develop sensitive instruments for the analysis of extraterrestrial atmospheres and planetary surfaces.  During work on a precursor to the Viking Mars Lander programme of the 1970s, Lovelock became interested in the composition of the Martian atmosphere.  To him the stark contrast between the Martian atmosphere and chemically dynamic mixture of that of the Earth’s biosphere was strongly indicative of the absence of life on the planet.

Lovelock also invented the electron capture detector, which ultimately assisted in discoveries about the persistence of CFCs and their role in stratospheric ozone depletion.

James Lovelock is recognised internationally as a true visionary, using his scientific knowledge and expertise to predict our future here on Earth.  He deserves to be given the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for International Achievement.