COSPAR 2020 Awards

COSPAR Space Science Award

For outstanding contributions to space science

William J. Borucki

Minor Planet (7864) Borucki

One of the great new fields of astrophysics is the study of exoplanets. As of the end of April 2020 more than 4000 such bodies are known. More than 2000 of these were discovered by the Kepler Mission, with another 2000 candidates yet to be confirmed. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Sunnyvale, California, USA

COSPAR Space Science Award

For outstanding contributions to space science

Ken McCracken

Minor Planet (8258) McCracken

Dr. Ken McCracken began his career in space science at the University of Tasmania where he developed the four station Australian neutron monitor network for the International Geophysical Year 1957-8. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he developed the mathematics and digital computer code to trace the orbits of relativistic cosmic rays in the six-degree geomagnetic field, a technique still used today. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Mt Jellore, Bowral, NSW, Australia

COSPAR International Cooperation Medal

For work having contributed significantly to the promotion of international scientific cooperation

John Kiss

Minor Planet (8267) Kiss

Francisco Javier Medina

Minor Planet (8333) Medina

Professor Dr. John Z. Kiss and Dr. F. Javier Medina have both been active in international spaceflight research for more than two decades during which they studied the growth and development of plants under microgravity in spaceflight. Both served as principal investigators for a joint spaceflight project named Seeding Growth (SG) where Kiss was funded by NASA and Medina by ESA and the Spanish National Research Agency to conduct studies on board the International Space Station. The major goals of the Seedling Growth program were to determine how gravity and light responses influence each other in plants and to better understand the cellular signaling mechanisms involved in plant tropisms and growth. Read more

Hometown image pictured is the Foust Building, The University of North Carolina Greensboro, USA

Hometown image pictured is Madrid Plaza Mayor, Spain

COSPAR William Nordberg Medal

For distinguished contributions to the application of space science

Daniel McCleese

Minor Planet (5641) McCleese

Dr. Daniel J. McCleese is a pioneer in remote sensing of the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets. Since receiving his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1976, he has designed, built and flown orbiting, state-of-the-art, remote sounding instruments to profile atmospheric temperatures, aerosols, and constituents,... Read more

Hometown image pictured is Altadena, California, USA

COSPAR Harrie Massey Award

For outstanding contributions to the development of space research in which a leadership role is of particular importance

Alexander Held

Minor Planet (8479) Held

Dr Alex Held is the first southern hemisphere winner of the COSPAR Massey Award, which reflects his pioneering contributions to Earth observation and the space sector in Australia and abroad. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

COSPAR Distinguished Service Medal

For services rendered to COSPAR over many years

Jean-Louis Fellous

Minor Planet (8617) Fellous

Jean-Louis Fellous has been thoroughly immersed in COSPAR since he delivered his first talk at a science conference, the COSPAR Scientific Assembly in Konstanz, Germany in 1973. In the ensuing years, he took part in and organized many Scientific Assemblies, serving 16 years as a COSPAR officer in Scientific Commission A. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Pic Saint-Loup, Montpellier, France

Joint COSPAR / Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Vikram Sarahbai Medal

For outstanding contributions to space research in developing countries

Alexi Glover

Dr Alexi Glover is the Space Weather Service Coordinator within the European Space Agency’s Space Weather Office, part of the Space Safety Programme Office, located in Darmstadt, Germany. She is responsible for development and coordination of ESA’s network of space weather services which includes participation of approximately 40 research institutes and organisations from across Europe. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Portmeirion, North Wales

Joint COSPAR / Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Jeoujang Jaw Award

For distinguished pioneering contributions to promoting space research, establishing new space science research branches and founding new exploration programs.

Wing-Huen Ip

Professor Wing-Huen Ip has made significant contributions to deep-space exploration, including comets and Outer Planets. In particular, his contribution to the CASSINI-Huygens mission was recognised as pioneering and non-replaceable. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Taipei 101, Taiwan

Joint COSPAR / Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Yakov B. Zeldovich

Recognising young scientists for excellence and achievements

Takatoshi Sakazaki

COSPAR Scientific Commission A

For his pioneering work in understanding the dynamics of the upper troposphere and stratosphere, through the combination of satellite observations and theoretical analysis, and in pursuing the implications of the upper-atmosphere tides on spatio-temporal variations in ozone abundance. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Kyoto, Japan

Michele T. Bannister

COSPAR Scientific Commission B

For significant progress in our understanding of the processes which form and control Trans-Neptunian Objects, and for the important contributions of her studies of 1l/’Oumuamua, the first interstellar object. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Mt Taranaki, New Zealand

Takanori Nishiyama

COSPAR Scientific Commission C

For major contributions to studies on magnetospheric effect on the thermosphere/ionosphere and the middle atmosphere by multi-instrument observations from the space and the ground. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Sapporo City, Japan

Daniel B. Graham

COSPAR Scientific Commission D

For the investigation of magnetic reconnection using data from Cluster and Magnetospheric Multiscale. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden

Ildar Khabibullin

COSPAR Scientific Commission E

For major contribution to deciphering the historical high-energy activity of the supermassive black hole Sgr A* in the center of our Galaxy and insights into the physical processes of galactic collapsed objects. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Yanaul, Russia

Giorgio Baiocco

COSPAR Scientific Commission F

For his important contributions in the use of a multifunctional approach in developing personal radiation shielding and monitoring of radiation environment against solar particle events during space travel. Read more

Hometown image pictured is The University of Pavia, Italy

Katharina Brinkert

COSPAR Scientific Commission G

For her contribution to ground-breaking photoelectrochemical experiments in reduced gravitation, demonstrating the potential of solar-assisted oxygen and fuel production for future, long-term, crewed space missions. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Marienfeld Abbey, Germany

Vitali Müller

COSPAR Scientific Commission H

For leading the design, testing, calibration, and data processing of the first inter-satellite laser interferometer of the geodesy mission GRACE-FO which may also be applied to the future gravitational wave mission LISA. Read more

Hometown image pictured is Hannover, Germany

COSPAR Outstanding Paper Awards for Young Scientists

There are 32 recipients in 2020 of the COSPAR Outstanding Paper Awards for Young Scientists who are listed here

The papers of all Outstanding Paper Award recipients are free to read through 3 August 2021 via this link:

Further information about the individual Awards can be found here:


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Fast Facts

The Help Desk was the most visited chat space with 48,540 posts and 8,848 unique viewers. Lockheed Martin’s workshop had a total of 103 posts and 118 unique viewers. The Climate Change topic was well above average with a total of 5,833 clicks followed by the Opening & Awards Ceremony with a total of 3,656 clicks.

Total registrants that attended was 11,410 and user total was 67,650.

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Post Congress Information

The Covid-19 pandemic forced deferral of the Sydney Assembly from August 2020 to January 2021 and redesign of the presentation mode from 100% in-person to either 100% virtual presentation or a mix of virtual and in-person presentations (COSPAR-2021-Hybrid).

During the events of the week, we all engaged with an extremely high quality COSPAR scientific program. There were 615 sessions, each delivered twice; over 2,000 scientific presentations; and three excellent workshops led by our anchor sponsor Lockheed Martin. Over 2,000 delegates were active on the platform each day. From the app, there have been over 2,000 downloads, more than 117 thousand page hits, and the number keeps rising. The assembly website has had over unique 11,000 users accessing content.


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