NASA’s Curiosity Team Wins Collier Trophy

The NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team is the winner of the 2012 Collier trophy, announced the National Aeronautic Association. The award ceremony will take place on May 9 in Arlington, Va., according to NAA’s mid-March release. The NASA/JPL team launched a rover to Mars last August to explore the red planet. The Collier trophy is an annual award given “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics and astronautics in America,” during a given year, according to NAA. “This was the most competitive Collier selection process that we have experienced in many years,” said NAA Chairman Walter Boyne. He added, “The NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory should be very proud of this achievement.” The Air Force’s MC-12 Project Liberty team was among the other nominees as was Felix Baumgartner and his team for his historic 24-mile freefall from the stratosphere last October. (See also Slowing Curiosity.)