OSIRIS-REx Team Earns the 2023 Robert J. Collier Trophy

Multi-Organization Team Embodies The Spirit Of Space Exploration And Innovation

WASHINGTON, DC, March 25, 2024—It is with great pleasure that the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announces that NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) Team has earned the 2023 Robert J. Collier Award.

“The NAA is proud to present this year’s Collier award to the OSIRIS-REx Team,” said Jim Albaugh, NAA Board Chair. “Their seven-year journey to an asteroid and back will help mankind better understand the universe in which we live. The complexity of this mission and the technologies applied certainly warrant this recognition.”

The Robert J. Collier Trophy has been awarded annually since 1911 for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year. This year’s recipient was made possible by the contributions of over 1,000 individuals and the unique contributions of NASA’s partners at the University of Arizona, Goddard Space Flight Center, Lockheed Martin, KinetX, and many other supporting organizations.

“Congratulations to the OSIRIS-REx team on this well-deserved honor,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “By successfully designing, building, and carrying out the first U.S. mission to collect an asteroid sample, NASA proved once again that we do big things. Things that inspire the world. We look forward to the incredible science to come that will tell us more about our solar system, and help protect humanity here on Earth.”

In September 2023, the OSIRIS-REx Mission stunned the world when it became the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid and return it to Earth. The material is the most significant carbon-rich asteroid sample ever delivered to Earth. Scientists are working diligently to characterize the samples and conduct the analysis needed to meet the mission’s significant goals. The material helps researchers understand asteroids that could threaten the Earth and investigate the origins of life on our planet.

“In the true embodiment of the Collier Trophy spirit, our team, together with our partners, approached every step of OSIRIS-REx with the resolve, tenacity, and creativity necessary to execute this mission of unlocking the mysteries of our universe,” said Robert Lightfoot, President, Lockheed Martin Space. “We are immensely grateful for this honor and are humbled to be alongside so many remarkable historic achievements in aerospace.”

The list of Collier recipients represents a timeline of the most groundbreaking aviation achievements that created today’s aviation and aerospace industry. Previous recipients include momentous people and achievements such as Orville Wright/Stabilizer (1913), RTCA/ATC (1948), U.S.A.F. & Rockwell Collins/B-1 (1976), and the James Webb Space Telescope Team (2022). The OSIRIS-REx Team is placed among these history makers for its significant advances in gaining knowledge of our solar system and its origin.

“I have been avidly following the progress of OSIRIS-REx ever since I came to the University of Arizona, and it was such an incredible moment to witness the delivery of the asteroid sample,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “I am proud to see the outstanding achievements of the OSIRIS-REx team recognized with the Robert J. Collier Trophy. The work this team has done to advance the knowledge of our solar system and its origin is awe-inspiring, and the Collier Trophy is richly deserved.”

The OSIRIS-REx team will be celebrated at the Collier Award Dinner on June 13th, 2024, at the Hilton Washington DC National Mall. Limited sponsorships will be available. To learn more, please contact Tina Wu.

The 2023 Robert J. Collier Selection Committee comprises diverse experts representing every facet of American aviation.

Members of the 2023 Robert J. Collier Selection Committee are:

  • Albert Berchtold, U.S. Parachute Assoc.
  • Andrew Gappy, Leonardo Helicopters U.S.
  • Andrew LeBovidge, NATCA
  • Ben Kowalski, Cirrus Aircraft
  • Bill Dolny, MedAire
  • Billy Nolen, Archer Aviation
  • Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic
  • Bobby Braun, Johns Hopkins Uni.
  • Brad McKeage, Embraer
  • Brad Thress, FlightSafety Intl.
  • Carol Huegel, RTCA
  • Caroline “Blaze” Jensen, U.S.A.F. Ret/Author
  • Daniel Dumbacher, AIAA
  • Gary Dunn Aviation, Partners
  • J. Ray Davis, Rolls-Royce N.A.
  • James Viola, Vertical Aviation Intl.
  • Jamie Darcy, Darcy Strategic, LLC
  • Jason Ambrosi, ALPA
  • Jason Hopkins, Lockheed Martin
  • Jim Albaugh, NAA Board Chair
  • Joan Higginbotham, Higginbotham Ad Astra
  • John S. Langford,
  • Jon Ostrower, The Air Current
  • Joshua Boehm, Spirit AeroSystems
  • Kate Fraser, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Lauren Beyer, Cargo Airline Assoc.
  • Lauren Haertlein, Joby Aviation
  • Leda Chong, Gulfstream Aerospace
  • Liana Sucar-Hamel, Airbus N.A.
  • Mark Ofsthun, HondaJet
  • Martiqua Post, U.S.A.F Academy
  • Mary Claire Murphy, Textron
  • Sam Magill, NASA
  • Sean O’Keefe, Professor, Syracuse Uni.
  • Sierra Grimes, Aviation Professional
  • Ted Ellett, Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP
  • Tom Hyde, Northrop Grumman
  • Tonya Sudduth, Bombardier

Please click here for a complete list of Robert J. Collier Trophy recipients.

To learn more about the Collier Dinner event, please contact Tina Wu.