Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) 2020 Awards Announced

To be presented on 30 January during the 43rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly in Sydney, Australia

See below for complete citations and a brief description of COSPAR.


🏆 COSPAR Space Science Award for outstanding contributions to space science:

William J. Borucki (USA), Astrobiology and Space Research Directorate, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

Ken McCracken (Australia), CSIRO and Jellore Technologies, retired, New South Wales


🏆 COSPAR International Cooperation Medal for distinguished contributions to space science and work that has contributed significantly to the promotion of international scientific cooperation:

John Kiss (USA) and Francisco Javer Medina Díaz (Spain), College of Arts & Sciences, University of North Carolina—Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina and PCNPµG Lab (Plant Cell Nucleolus, Proliferation & Microgravity), Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas – CSIC, Madrid


🏆 COSPAR William Nordberg Medal commemorating the late William Nordberg and for distinguished contributions to the application of space science in a field covered by COSPAR:

Daniel J. McCleese (USA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California


🏆 COSPAR Harrie Massey Award honoring the memory of Sir Harrie Massey, FRS, for outstanding contributions to the development of space research in which a leadership role is of particular importance:

Alexander Held (Australia), CSIRO Centre of Earth Observation – Astronomy and Space Science, Canberra ACT


🏆 COSPAR Distinguished Service Medal recognizing extraordinary services rendered to COSPAR over many years.

Jean-Louis Fellous (France), Committee on Space Research (retired), Paris


🏆 Vikram Sarabhai Medal (a joint award of COSPAR and the Indian Space Research Organization) honoring Vikram Sarabhai, one of the architects of modern India, for outstanding contributions to space research in developing countries:

Alexi Glover (ESA/ESOC), Space Safety Programme Office, European Space Agency, ESA-ESOC, Darmstadt


🏆 Jeoujang Jaw Award (a joint award of COSPAR and the Chinese Academy of Sciences) recognizing scientists who have made distinguished pioneering contributions to promoting space research, establishing new space science research branches and founding new exploration programs:

Wing-Huen Ip (China: Academy of Sciences located in Taipei), Institute of Astronomy, National Central  University, Taoyuan


🏆 Yakov B. Zeldovich Medals (a joint award of COSPAR and the Russian Academy of Sciences) conferred on young scientists for excellence and achievements, honoring the distinguished astrophysicist Yakov B. Zeldovich. One medal is awarded for each COSPAR Scientific Commission:

  • COSPAR Scientific Commission A: Takatoshi Sakazaki (Japan), Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto
  • COSPAR Scientific Commission B: Michele T. Bannister (United Kingdom / New Zealand), Astrophysics Res. Centre, Queens Univ. Belfast
  • COSPAR Scientific Commission C: Takanori Nishiyama (Japan), National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo
  • COSPAR Scientific Commission D: Daniel B. Graham (Sweden / Australia), Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Uppsala
  • COSPAR Scientific Commission E: Ildar Khabibullin (Russia / Germany), Space Research Institute (IKI) Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow and Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching
  • COSPAR Scientific Commission F: Giorgio Baiocco (Italy), Radiation Biophysics & Radiobiology Gr., Physics Dep., University of Pavia, Pavia
  • COSPAR Scientific Commission G: Katharina Brinkert (United Kingdom / Germany), Department of Chemistry, Univ. of Warwick, Coventry
  • COSPAR Scientific Commission H: Vitali Müller (Germany), Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Hannover

🏆 Outstanding Paper Awards for Young Scientists

List of thirty-two 2020 recipients available here.

COSPAR today

The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has both National Scientific Institutions and International Scientific Unions as members. Moreover, approximately 11000 scientists actively engaged in space research are COSPAR Associates. Companies and organizations interested in supporting COSPAR activities may also become Supporters of the Committee.

COSPAR acts mainly as an entity which:

  • is responsible for organizing biennial Scientific Assemblies with strong contributions from most countries engaged in space research. These meetings allow the presentation of the latest scientific results, the exchange of knowledge and also the discussion of space research problems. Over several decades providing this service has brought recognition to the COSPAR Scientific Assembly as the premier forum for presenting the most important results in space research in all disciplines and as the focal point for truly international space science. In this regard it should be observed that COSPAR  has played a central role in the development of new space disciplines such as life sciences or fundamental physics, by facilitating the interaction between scientists in emergent space fields and senior space researchers,
  • provides the means for rapid publication of results in its journals Advances in Space Research (ASR) and Life Sciences in Space Research (LSSR),
  • strives to promote the use of space science for the benefit of all and for its adoption by developing countries and new space-faring nations, in particular through a series of Capacity Building Workshops which teach very practical skills enabling researchers to participate in international space research programs,
  • organizes, on a regional scale, scientific exchange and public outreach on specific research topics, in the framework of Symposia and Colloquia,
  • advises, as required, the UN and other intergovernmental organizations on space research matters or on the assessment of scientific issues in which space can play a role, for example the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), in which COSPAR is a Participating Organization,
  • commissions and prepares comprehensive scientific roadmaps on important topics to allow space agencies and other entities to base decisions affecting their programs and future research on the best available science,
  • prepares scientific and technical standards related to space research,
  • promotes, on an international level, research in space, much of which has grown into large international collaborative programs in the mainstream of scientific research.

COSPAR’s objectives are to promote on an international level scientific research in space, with emphasis on the exchange of results, information and opinions, and to provide a forum, open to all scientists, for the discussion of problems that may affect scientific space research. These objectives are achieved through the organization of Scientific Assemblies, publications and other means.

The International Science Council (ISC) established COSPAR during a meeting in London in 1958. COSPAR’s first Space Science Symposium was organized in Nice in January 1960. COSPAR is an interdisciplinary entity that ignores political considerations and views all questions solely from the scientific standpoint.

Complete lists of previous award recipients may be found at: https://cosparhq.cnes.fr/awards

Further information on COSPAR is available at:https://cosparhq.cnes.fr/ or from the Secretariat: cospar@cosparhq.cnes.fr

Tel: +33 1 44 76 74 41 / +33 4 67 54 87 77

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

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