Curiosity Team Wins 2012 Collier Trophy

AOPA Pilot (3/14, Namowitz) reported on the same day NASA was announcing the first findings from Curiosity’s drill, “the NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team learned that another pending question had been answered in the positive: The National Aeronautic Association announced that the team had won the 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy ‘in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation’s technological and engineering capabilities, and significantly improving humanity’s understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments.'” The article notes the team was the “first among elites” in contention for this year’s prize that included “Lockheed Martin’s Cargo Unmanned Aerial System; another NASA entry, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Dawn Project Team…Gulfstream’s G650 business jet; the Air Force’s special-mission turboprop MC-12 Project Liberty Team; high-altitude skydiver Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos Team; and the NASA/JPL Voyager Interstellar Mission Project Team.”