The following awards were presented at the Palais du Pharo at Marseille during SpaceOps 2018:

International SpaceOps Lifetime Achievement Medal
Kaneaki Narita, Advisor to the Director General and Head of the Independent Assessment Team for Human Spaceflight, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) for his dedication in modernizing satellite operation ground control, especially increasing the ability of interoperability, and for being a trailblazer in the field of cross-support operations through education.


International SpaceOps Awards for Outstanding Achievement
The Cassini Flight Operations Team, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)  for outstanding performance in the planning and execution of the Cassini mission leading to unprecedented scientific data return from the Saturn system.


The GRACE Operations Team, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft – und Raumfahrt (DLR) for one of the most successful missions ever with already more than 4,100 peer-reviewed papers. Operations are especially challenging because the two satellites themselves are the probes in the terrestrial gravity field. The interaction between payload and satellite operations intensified even more with the mission in its sixteenth year now, more than threefold beyond the original expectation.


International SpaceOps Exceptional Achievement Medal
Nestor Peccia, (ESA Retired – Head of OPS Ground Segment Infrastructure Division ESA / ESOC), for always emphasizing the importance of Ground Systems allowing flawless operations, being a leader of international cooperation, and fostering the development of international standards for cross-support between space agencies.


International SpaceOps Distinguished Service Medal
Michael Kearney, (NASA Retired) in appreciation of outstanding and steadfast support to the SpaceOps Organization and for distinguished service to colleagues and organizations around the world for the betterment and interests of space mission operations.


The following awards were presented at the Cheongnamdae Presidential Villa during SpaceOps 2016:

International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement
The New Horizons Mission Operations Team, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for the successful flight and flyby operations of the New Horizons spacecraft of the dwarf planet Pluto. (photo to be posted soon. 2 August 2016)


International SpaceOps Distinguished Service Medal
Christine Chubenko, What Webs We Weave in appreciation for the design, maintenance, and upgrading of the SpaceOps and AIAA Space Operations and Support Technical Committee’s online Journal of Space Operations & Communicator since 2005. (photo to be posted soon. 2 August 2016)


International SpaceOps Lifetime Achievement Medal
Christopher C. Kraft Jr., NASA Johnson Space Center (retired) for pioneering concepts that laid the foundation for spaceflight mission control and human spaceflight missions, and for technical and inspirational leadership that led to the establishment of essential elements of successful space mission operations. (photo to be posted soon. 2 August 2016)


The following awards were presented at the California Science Center during SpaceOps 2014:

International SpaceOps Exceptional Achievement Medal
Manfred Warhaut, (ESA Retired), for always emphasizing the importance of operations in a project, ensuring that operations get the appropriate appreciation, and being a strong supporter of cross-support between space agencies.

Manfred Warhaut



International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement
Alessandro Codazzi, Jaap Herman, Harald Hofmann, Ralph Kahle, Wilfried Druse, Edith Maurer, Falk Mrowka, Heinz Wacker, and Steffen Zimmermann for their outstanding and unique achievements during more than four years of operations.

TerrSAR logo1 The TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X Mission Operations Team TanDEM Logo


International SpaceOps Distinguished Service Medal
Genevieve Campan (CNES), in appreciation for involvement in the SpaceOps Organization and many valuable contributions to its activities in various functions for more than ten years.

Genevieve Champan (CNES)



The following awards were presented at the SpaceOps2012 Conference:


International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement
The Hayabusa Operations Team, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
for excellent collaborative work that successfully returned the Explorer to Earth despite difficulties due to equipment failure onboard. The award was accepted by Dr. Junichiro Kawaguchi, Hayabusa program manager/team lead.


International SpaceOps Exceptional Achievement Medal
Dr. Sami Asmar,
principal scientist, radio science, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for creating a system that has transformed space operations during critical events to acquire information indispensable to the safety and health of costly space exploration missions via Radio Science Systems.


International SpaceOps Distinguished Service Medal

  • James Costrell, NASA (retired), for four decades of leadership and service in the International Space Operations community


  • Terry D. “Dave” Linick, program manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is being recognized as the initiator of the SpaceOps Organization in its current form.



The following awards were presented at SpaceOps 2010, 26-30 April 2010 in Huntsville, Alabama.


International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement
The Mars Exploration Rover Operations Team for its remarkable success in meeting the unique and varied challenges of operating two rovers on Mars for several years past their design life and establishing a model for future in situ operations. The award was accepted by Mars Exploration Rover Operations Project Manager John Callas.


International SpaceOps Distinguished Service Medal Paolo
for his dedication to the SpaceOps Organization since its early days and as one of the “fathers” of international space agency cross-support, and for his involvement with the planning committees for the SpaceOps 2008 Conference and the Reducing the Cost of Spacecraft Ground Systems and Operations Symposium.


International SpaceOps Exceptional Achievement Medal
Eugene Kranz for his pioneering the concepts and procedures that laid the foundation for human spaceflight operations, many of which are still in use today, and for his inspirational leadership that raised the awareness of the importance of spaceflight operations throughout the world.



The following awards were presented at SpaceOps 2008, 12-16 May 2008 in Heidelberg, Germany:

International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement
Ulysses Mission Operations Team for its outstanding contributions to the success, scientific productivity, and longevity of the joint ESA-NASA Ulysses Mission to the poles of the sun.


International Space Ops Distinguished Service Medals

  • Robert K. Wilson, Spitzer Space Telescope project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, for outstanding dedication, leadership, operational excellence, innovation, and sustained technical performance, significantly contributing to the success of NASA Astronomy Physics, Planetary and Earth Observing missions and the Spitzer Space Telescope.



  • John C. Rodgers, manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., for his service as one of the founding members of the SpaceOps Organization, his dedication to SpaceOps activities since its formation in 1992, and his unwavering support by representing NASA in the newly-formed Organization.
  • Herwig Laue, section manager at ESA-ESOC, who will be recognized for over five years of dedicated service as acting SpaceOps Co-Chair, including his role in organizing the 1996 SpaceOps Symposium – in excellent cooperation with DLR, the German Aerospace Center – which featured the first “on-line” paper collection system, the first CD publication of the proceedings, and numerous other innovations.


During the conference, the following best papers were selected and recognized:

Best Paper:
Operational Management of Collision Risks for LEO Satellites at CNES (Authors: F. Laporte, CNES, Toulouse and E. Sasot, Atos Origin Integration, Toulouse, France)

Second Place:
METEOSAT Second Generation: Automated Procedures Execution Algorithms (Author: L. Matheson, EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany)

Third Place:

  • Use of Virtualisation Techniques for Ground Data Systems (Authors: J. Prieto, IsFreelance, Madrid, Spain; J. Feiteirinha, CISUC Department of Informatics Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal; E. Gómez, M. Pecchioli, ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany) Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Aero braking Sequencing Operations and Lessons Learned (Author: R. Gladden, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States) Enabling Autonomous Science for a Mars Rover (Authors: T. Estlin, R. Castano, D. Gaines, D. Gaines, B. Bornstein and R. Anderson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States)


The SpaceOps Awards were first presented during SpaceOps 2006, 19-23 June 2006 in Rome, Italy.

The winners of the awards are listed below.

International SpaceOps Distinguished Service Medal
Joachim Kehr for being a founding father of the SpaceOps Organization, for nurturing it through its formative years, and for playing an active role in it even after officially retiring from the German Space Operations Center.

Joachim Kehr accepts the Distinguished Service Medal

International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement
The U.S. Geological Survey Landsat 5 Flight Operations Team for its dedicated efforts in recovering Landsat 5 from two potentially mission-ending hardware anomalies and restoring the mission for full operations. Team members included: Ron Smilek, Steve Covington, Genghmun Eng, John Gasch, Claef Hakun, Sergio Hasebe, Javier Lecha, Dave Lorenz, John Rowe, and Marco Toral.

Ron Smilek accepts the Award for Outstanding Achievement on behalf of the Landsat 5 Flight Operations Team

Best Papers of SpaceOps Symposium Awards

  • 1st Place
    Title: Development of JWST’s Ground Systems Using an Open Adaptable Architecture
    Authors: Bonita L. Seaton, Alan T. Johns, and Jonathan S. Gal-Edd, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Curtis C. Fatig, SAIC; Ronald A. Jones, ASRC Aerospace; Francis C. Wasiak, General Dynamics Corporation     

    2nd Place
    Title: GDSS: A Service Oriented Architecture for Mission Operations
    Authors: Roger S. Thompson, Stewart Hall, and Oliver Page, SciSys Ltd.; Nestor Peccia, ESA/ESOC

    3rd Place
    Title: The Cassini-Huygens Sequence Development Process
    Authors: Jennifer Long Maxwell, William M. Heventhal III, and Shahram Javidnia, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology