Sir Arthur Clarke Award

The Sir Arthur Clarke Award is a British award given annually since 2005 in recognition of notable contributions to space exploration, particularly British achievements. Nominations for the awards are made by members of the public, with shortlists drawn up by a panel of judges, who also choose the winner. Sir Arthur Clarke chose a special award independently of the public nominations, prior to his death on 18 March 2008.


Founded in 2005, the idea for the awards was proposed by Dave Wright to Jerry Stone, who then suggested they be named after Sir Arthur Clarke. Once permission was granted, Jerry Stone decided what the awards should look like, what categories should be included, and how they should be nominated and judged. The awards are presented by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, although the selection is delegated to the British Interplanetary Society, with the exception of the International award, whose recipient is voted on by the Foundation [1]

Having obtained Sir Arthur's permission for the awards to bear his name, Jerry Stone decided that the awards should have the same proportions (1:4:9) as the monolith featured in Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, and be made of glass, as the description on the book of 2001 describes 'a crystalline monolith'. This represents Clarke's science fiction work. The award features the diagram Clarke drew in 1945 in order to demonstrate how satellites can provide global communications around the Earth from geostationary orbit, also called the Clarke Orbit. This represents Clarke's science work. It was co-designed by Howard Berry, who suggested the font and lettering style.

Initially the awards were presented at the UK Space Conference (the British Rocketry Oral History Programme until it was renamed in 2008) which was held annually at Charterhouse School, Surrey, from 1998 to 2010. The association with the conference continues but only in alternate years, as the conference has been bi-annual since 2011.

Not all categories are awarded each year; for example, 2008 was the first year in which nominations were shortlisted in the category of Best Film Presentation. An additional award was given in 2007 and 2008 that was named after and presented by George Abbey, the former director of the Johnson Space Center. It was awarded to those "whose space achievement made us laugh the most".[2]

The award ceremony is similar to the Oscars in that multiple awards are given in various categories at the same event, which is different from other awards given in the field. As a result, the awards have been referred to as the Arthurs.[3] The awards are held in high regard by the international Space community:

The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards are held in great esteem and it is a huge honour to have been nominated. It was a fantastic surprise when we heard the news and we are very flattered.

Dr Andy Newsam, Director of the National Schools' Observatory, Sir Arthur Clarke award for NSO, 28 March 2008.

This award is very nice... I thank all of you for this grand night and this grand award.

Ray Bradbury, Sir Patrick Moore and the Sky at Night win Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, Brian May, 19 April 2007.


The 2018 awards were presented at a gala dinner at the 2018 Reinventing Space Conference at The Royal Aeronautical Society on Thursday 1 November 2018. The finalists were announced on the BIS website on 7 October.[4]

Space Achievement – Industry/Project TeamOxford Space Systems
Space Achievement – Industry/Project IndividualMagali Vaissière
Space Achievement – Academic Study/ResearchThe UK Cassini team
Space Achievement – Education and Outreach TeamThe ESERO-UK Space Ambassadors
Space Achievement – Education and Outreach IndividualVix Southgate
Space Achievement – Industry/Project IndividualDave Honess
Space Achievement – StudentRob Garner
Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and writtenThe BBC 2 ‘Astronauts – Do you have what it takes?’ Team
Lifetime AchievementRichard Peckham
International AchievementThe SpaceX Falcon Team


[5] The 2017 awards were presented at a gala dinner at the 2017 UK Space Conference, held at Manchester Central on Wednesday 31 May 2017.

Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team (Large Projects)Airbus Gaia Team
Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team (Small Projects)Oxford Nanopore Technologies Team
Space Achievement – Industry/Project IndividualAlan Bond, Reaction Engines
Space Achievement – Academic Study/ResearchUK Gaia Science Team
Space Achievement – Education and Outreach (Team)Science Museum Cosmonauts Exhibition Team (Ian Blatchford, Doug Millard, Natalia Sidlina, and Alexandra Smirnova)
Space Achievement – Education and Outreach (Individual)Kathie Bowden, UK Space Agency
Space Achievement – StudentCranSpace Mars Flyby Team
Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and writtenDallas Campbell, Science Television Presenter
Special Lifetime Space AchievementPiers Sellers
Lifetime Space AchievementPaul Flanagan, UKspace
International AchievementRoy Gibson, First Director General, European Space Agency


[6] The 2016 awards were presented at a gala dinner at the 2016 Reinventing Space Conference at The Royal Society on Thursday 27 October 2016. The event was sponsored by the UK Space Agency.

Space Achievement – Special Award for Individual OutreachTim Peake
Space Achievement – Education and OutreachThe UK Space Agency Principia Education Team
Space Achievement – Media: Broadcast and writtenDavid Shukman, Science Editor, BBC News
Space Achievement – EducationMike Grocott
Space Achievement – Industry/Project TeamThe SSTL Galileo Team
Space Achievement – Industry/Project IndividualDave Honess
Space Achievement – Academic Study/ResearchDr Harry Ward and The LISA Pathfinder Team, University Of Glasgow
Space Achievement – StudentJoseph Dudley, UKSEDS
Lifetime AchievementPat Norris
International AchievementThe Global VSAT Forum


[7] The 2015 awards were presented at the UK Space Conference Dinner in St George’s Hall, Liverpool on Tuesday 14 July 2015. They were sponsored by the UK Space Agency.

Space Achievement – Industry/Project TeamBeagle 2 Team
Space Achievement – Industry/Project IndividualWilliam Marshall, Planet Labs, San Francisco
Space Achievement – Academic Study/ResearchThe Stardust Team, University Of Strathclyde
Space Achievement – Education and OutreachThe Rosetta/Philae Outreach Team
Space Achievement – StudentKing’s College London Msc Students
Space Achievement – Media, broadcast and writtenRichard Hollingham, BBC Future
Lifetime AchievementProf. J L Culhane, Mullard Space
International AchievementDr Burton Edelson


[8] The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2014 were presented at an event at The Royal Aeronautical Society[9] on Wednesday 8 October 2014, by the Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, Dr David Parker.

Space Achievement – Industry/Project TeamThe ESA/Industry Rosetta Team (members below)
Space Achievement – Industry/Project IndividualJohn Ellwood – Ex ESA
Space Achievement – Academic Study/ResearchProf Louise Harra, MSSL, UCL
Space Achievement – Education and OutreachDr Lucie Green, Dept of Space & Climate Physics, MSSL, UCL
Space Achievement – StudentThe Cranspace Team: Idriss Sisaid, Enrique Gardia Bourne, Edward Anastassacos
Space Achievement – Media, Broadcast and WrittenArrow Media – "Live from Space" series
Lifetime AchievementColin Pillinger, Open University
International AchievementJames Lovelock, Author and proposer of the Gaia hypothesis, UK

The specific ESA/Industry Rosetta team members who received the "Space Achievement - Industry/Project Team" award:

  • Dr. Andrea Accomazzo, Rosetta Flight Director, ESOC, Darmstadt
  • Dr. Paolo Ferri, Head of Mission Operations, ESOC, Darmstadt
  • Dr. Rainer Best, Rosetta Project Manager, Airbus DS, Friedrichshafen
  • Hans-Martin Hell, Rosetta Platform Manager, Airbus DS, Friedrichshafen
  • Rod Emery, Rosetta UK Platform Project Manager, Airbus DS, Stevenage
  • Phil McGoldrick, Rosetta UK Platform Engineering Manager, Airbus DS, Stevenage
  • Penny Irvine, Rosetta UK Platform System Engineer, Airbus DS, Stevenage
  • Dr. Stephan Ulamec, Philae Project Manager, DLR


[10] The 2013 awards were presented at the UK Space Conference at the Glasgow Science Centre, at a black tie dinner on 16 July hosted by Helen Keen. Tim Peake, the UK's ESA astronaut presented the awards to the recipients.

Industry/Project Team Awarde2v (presented to Richard Gibbs)
Industry/Project Individual AwardPaul Flanagan of UK Space
Academic Study/Research AwardHerschel-SPIRE Team (presented to Tanya Lim)
Student AwardRebecca Hayward of Hockerill Anglo European College
Education and Outreach AwardStuart Eves
Media AwardBen Gilliland of the Metro newspaper
Lifetime Achievement AwardProfessor Alan Wells, University of Leicester
International AwardDr. Joseph N. Pelton


As the UK Space Agency are only planning to run the space conference in alternate years, the 2012 awards were presented at a special event in the Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords on 26 October 2012. The host was Lord Cobbold and the MC for the event was the impressionist Jon Culshaw.

International AwardJean-Jacques Dordain, Director-General of the European Space Agency
Lifetime AchievementPaul Money
Space Activity - Academic Study / ResearchRosetta Ptolemy Team
Space Activity - IndustrySSTL NigeriaSat 2 Team
Space Education - OutreachHeather MacRae
Space Education - Student AchievementCharlotte Lücking
Space MediaSpace Boffins


The 2011 award took place at the UK Space Conference at the University of Warwick in July 2011.[11][12][13]

Achievement in Space Education and OutrearchUnlimited Theatre for 'Mission to Mars'
Achievement in Space ResearchUniversity of Strathclyde Advanced Space Concepts Lab
Achievement in Space CommerceClyde Space
Achievement in Space MediaClive Horwood
Space Student AchievementChris Brunskill
International Space AchievementDavid Thompson, Orbital Sciences Corporation
Exceptional Space AchievementProfessor David Southwood


The award dinner was held on 27 March 2010 at the UK Space Conference at Charterhouse.[14]

International AwardInternational Space University[15]
Inspiration AwardAnu Ojha[16]
Team of the yearQinetiq[17]
Individual AchievementMatt Griffin
Best Film/TV/Radio PresentationJames May on the Moon
Best Space ReportingJonathan Amos, BBC News Online
EducationBecky Parker
EntrepreneurDavid Williams
OutreachThe EADS STEM Ambassadors
StudentÁron Kidsi
Special AwardRoy Gibson, first Director-General of the European Space Agency


The 2009 Awards dinner was held on 4 April 2009 at the UK Space conference.[18][19]

Achievement in EducationChris Welch, Kingston University[20]
Best Corporate/Team AchievementAutomated Transfer Vehicle Team, John Ellwood: ATV project manager[21]
Best Individual AchievementRichard Garriott
Best Lifetime AchievementProfessor Fred Taylor
Best Space ReportingBBC News Science Team, special citation for Paul Rincon
Best Student AchievementDr David Boyce
Best TV/Radio PresentationDan Walker, producer and director of BBC Four's The Satellite Story
Best Written PresentationRed Moon Rising, by Matthew Brzezinski
Inspiration AwardLord Drayson
Outreach Award for the Public Promotion of SpaceThe UK IAC2008 Team
Special AwardAlistair Scott


The 2008 Awards dinner was held on 29 March 2008 at Charterhouse. Special guests were George Abbey and Joe Engle.

Best Corporate/Team AchievementMars Express Team; Project Manager Rudi Schmidt
Best Individual AchievementIan Taylor MP
Best Student AchievementAlison Gibbings
Best Space Reporting"Spaceflight" magazine; Editor Clive Simpson
Achievement in EducationFaulkes Telescope Project; director Paul Roche
Inspiration AwardPiers Sellers
Best Presentation, FilmIn the Shadow of the Moon; Director David Sington & Christopher Riley
Best Presentation, TV & RadioMartin Redfern and Heather Couper: "Britain's Space Race"
Best Presentation, WrittenDavid A. Baker: Jane's Spaceflight Directory
Outreach Award for the Public Promotion of SpaceMargaret Aderin-Pocock
Space EntrepreneurAlan Bond
Lifetime AchievementSir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
George Abbey AwardA glass version of the award presented to two members of the Rocket Men team in replacement for the paper versions given the previous year (see 2007 Awards below/picture (right)).


The 2007 Awards dinner was held on 14 April 2007 at the BROHP conference at Charterhouse.[22]

Best Corporate/Team AchievementThe Mars Exploration Rovers Team
Best Individual AchievementSteve Squyres
Best Space ReportingRobin Scagell
Achievement in EducationThe International Space School Educational Trust
Inspiration AwardSir Patrick Moore
Best Presentation, TV & RadioThe Sky At Night
Best Presentation, WrittenCharles S. Cockell: Space on Earth
Outreach Award for the Public Promotion of SpaceLord Sainsbury
Lifetime AchievementEric "Winkle" Brown
Special AwardRay Bradbury
George Abbey award[23]The Rocket Men Team that made a Space Shuttle out of a Reliant Robin for the BBC TV series Top Gear[24]

Among the other nominees were Anousheh Ansari, and the British-born astronaut Piers Sellers.


The 2006 Awards dinner was held on 8 April 2006 at the BROHP conference at Charterhouse.[25]

Best Corporate/Team AchievementThe UK Huygens Industry Team
Best Individual AchievementDavid Parker
Best Student AchievementSabrina Pottinger
Achievement in EducationAlex Blackwood
Inspiration AwardMichael Foale
Best Presentation, TV & RadioSpace Race
Best Presentation, WrittenAlan Lawrie: Saturn
Outreach Award for the Public Promotion of SpaceThe PPARC Communication Team
Lifetime AchievementReginald Turnill

Among the other nominees were Sir Richard Branson, and the Robson Green drama television series Rocket Man.


Presented at the inaugural awards dinner at Charterhouse, Saturday 2 April 2005.[26]

Best Corporate AchievementEADS Space
Best Individual AchievementJohn Zarnecki
Best Student AchievementJulia Tizard
Best Space ReportingDavid Whitehouse
Achievement in EducationNational Space Centre
Inspiration AwardGeorge Scoon
Best Presentation, TV & RadioChristopher Riley, producer: Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets
Best Presentation, WrittenDavid A. Hardy and Patrick Moore: Futures—50 Years in Space
Outreach Award for the Public Promotion of SpaceColin Pillinger
Special AwardBritish Interplanetary Society

Sir Arthur was also presented with a special award commemorating the 60th anniversary of his paper on global communication by satellite in the October 1945 edition of Wireless World. This award was accepted on behalf of Sir Arthur by his brother Fred.

See also


  1. "My Arthur".
  2. "Bang! News". Bang!.
  3. Radford, Tim (24 March 2005). "Who's up for an Arthur?". The Guardian.
  4. Society, British Interplanetary. "The 2018 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards Finalists Announced". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. "UK Space Conference 2017". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  6. Society, British Interplanetary. "The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2016". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  7. "UK Space Conference 2015". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  8. Society, British Interplanetary. "Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2014 Winners". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  9. "The British Interplanetary Society: Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2005-2014". British Interplanetary Society. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  10. Ben. "Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2013 Winners". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  11. Nominees shortlisted for Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, UK Space Agency press release, 14 June 2011.
  12. UK Space Conference 2011 Dinner and the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2011,, May 2011.
  13. UK ESA astronaut Tim Peake presents Sir Arthur Clarke awards at UK Space Conference 2011, UK Space Agency press release, 5 July 2011.
  14. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  15. "ISU Receives the International Sir Arthur Clarke Award". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  16. In the news - Anu Ojha, Times Educational Supplement, 30 April 2010.
  17. "QinetiQ ion propulsion team recognised with Sir Arthur Clarke award for contribution to space exploration". Archived from the original on 4 October 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  18. "BBC NEWS - Science & Environment - BBC science wins 'Arthur' awards". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  19. "Sir Arthur Clarke Award nominations 2009 - Rocketeers". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  20. "Finding Water On The Moon Has Major Implications For Human Space Exploration". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  21. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 October 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. Following a presentation by the Rocket Men Team about their activities, the day before the awards ceremony, George Abbey felt that they deserved an award. As there was not enough time to have a glass award made and etched, Jerry Stone made a paper version.
  24. "Top Gear Production notes: Reliant Robin - space shuttle". BBC. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  25. "2006 Sir Arthur Clarke Award Winners Announced". British National Space Centre. 12 April 2006. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  26. Individual Awards For CEPSAR Members At The Inaugural Sir Arthur Clarke Award Archived 8 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research, Open University, page retrieved 8 May 2011.
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