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My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

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The National Aeronautic Association Recognizes Lockheed Martin with Prestigious Collier Trophy for OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Mission

The Collier Trophy celebrates the greatest American achievements in aeronautics and astronautics

Washington June 17, 2024 Photo(s): By Lockheed Martin
National Aeronautic Association recently honored Lockheed Martin with the prestigious 2023 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the team's work on NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission. The team includes Lockheed Martin, NASA Goddard, University of Arizona, KinetX SNAFD, among many others.

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) honored Lockheed Martin with the prestigious 2023 Robert J. Collier Trophy at an awards dinner held on June 13 in Washington, D.C. for the team's work on NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission. The team includes Lockheed Martin, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, the University of Arizona and KinetX, among many others.

One of the aerospace industry's highest honors, the Collier Trophy is awarded by the NAA each year for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America with respect to improving the performance, efficiency and safety of air or space vehicles. Past winners include trailblazers like Orville Wright, the Apollo 11 astronauts and the James Webb Space Telescope team. This is the 14th time Lockheed Martin and its legacy companies have received the honor, and the fourth for the company's Space division.

"The Collier Trophy is a recognition like no other in the world," said NAA President and CEO Amy Spowart. "Since 1911, it has been the honor of the NAA, the oldest national aviation organization in the US, to bestow the prestigious honor of the year's greatest aeronautical achievement. The OSIRIS-REx team's accomplishment is a testament to their unwavering dedication, exceptional intellect, and remarkable teamwork. It is with great honor that the NAA recognizes and celebrates this extraordinary team that has made the impossible a reality."

NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission was the first US expedition to collect an asteroid sample in 2020 and return it to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The particles are the most significant carbon-rich asteroid sample ever delivered to Earth and are continuously informing scientific findings on the origins of our universe.

"By honoring extraordinary innovators and their achievements, the NAA is helping to foster a pipeline within our industry where vision and perseverance are rewarded," said Robert Lightfoot, president of Lockheed Martin Space. "OSIRIS-REx is the culmination of the brightest minds across the globe collaborating to make this historic mission a success. Lockheed Martin is honored to accept the Collier Trophy and truly humbled by the recognition."

As the builders and operators of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, Lockheed Martin had a pivotal role in the mission's success, consistently delivering on customer commitments and drawing on decades of experience as a part of every NASA sample return mission. This is in addition to inventing technology like the special reverse-vacuum Touch and Go sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) used to grab the sample.

Leadership at NASA, NAA's Chair Jim Albaugh, and Lockheed Martin Chief Operating Officer Frank St. John, as well as Lightfoot gave remarks at the dinner. Members of the OSIRIS-REx mission team viewed the Collier Trophy, housed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, earlier on June 13.