The National Air and Space Museum presents the Michael Collins Trophy annually to recognize both past and present achievements involving the management or execution of a scientific or technological project, a distinguished career of service in air and space technology, or a significant contribution in chronicling the history of air and space technology. Winners receive a trophy featuring a miniature version of the "Web of Space" sculpture, which was created by John Safer of Washington, DC, and donated it to our Museum.

The award was established in 1985 and was renamed in honor of Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins in 2020.

Learn how to nominate a person, team, or project. 


Lifetime Achievement

2024 Peggy Whitson

2023 William "Bill" Anders

2022 Wally Funk

2021 Eugene "Gene" Kranz

2020 Dr. Charles Elachi

2019 General Charles "Charlie" Bolden

2018 Gen. John R. “Jack” Dailey

2017 Peter Theisinger

2016 Capt. James A. Lovell

2015 Stamatios "Tom" M. Krimigis

2014 Norm Augustine

2013 Joseph F. Sutter

2012 Burt Rutan

2011 George Mueller

2010 Christopher C. Kraft, Jr.

2009 John R. Casani and C. Gordon Fullerton

2008 Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr.

2007 Robert A. "Bob" Hoover

2006 James A. Van Allen

2005 Frank N. Piasecki

2004 Neil Armstrong

2003 (no award)*

2002 Stanley Hiller Jr.

2001 Sen. John Glenn

2000 A. Scott Crossfield

1999 Dr. Simon Ramo

1998 Richard T. Whitcomb

1997 Anthony "Tony" LeVier

1996 Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, USAF (Ret.)

1995 Najeeb E. Halaby

1994 Dr. Michael H. Carr

1993 Olive Ann Beech

1992 Francis M. Rogallo

1991 Arthur E. Raymond

1990 Kelly Johnson and the SR-71 Design Team

1989 Edwin Land

1988 Harold Masursky

1987 John Steiner

1986 Sir Frank Whittle and Dr. Hans von Ohain

1985 Robert R. Gilruth

Current Achievement

2024 Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) Mission Team

2023 James Webb Space Telescope Team

2022 MiMi Aung & the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Team

2021 SpaceX and Crew Dragon Team

2020 Hubble Space Telescope Team

2019 LIGO Scientific Collaboration

2018 Shaesta Waiz of Dreams Soar Inc.

2017 Kenn Borek Air’s South Pole Rescue Team

2016 NASA's New Horizons Mission Team

2015 Kepler Mission Team

2014 The Dawn Flight Team

2013 Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Team

2012 The Cassini-Huygens Flight Team

2011 Michael Suffredini and the International Space Station Program Office

2010 Flight crew of US Airways Flight 1549: Chesley B. Sullenberger III, Jeffrey B. Skiles, Sheila Dail, Donna Dent and Doreen Welsh

2009 (no award)

2008 Stardust Comet Sample Return Mission Team

2007 NASA's STS-121 Space Shuttle Team

2006 Mars Exploration Rover Team

2005 Burt Rutan, Paul Allen, and the SpaceShipOne Team

2004 USAF/Lockheed Martin Milstar Team

2003 (no award)

2002 Predator Development Team

2001 NEAR Mission Team

2000 The Chandra X-Ray Observatory Team

1999 The Breitling Orbiter 3 Team

1998 The Mars Pathfinder Team

1997 Dr. Shannon W. Lucid

1996 The Boeing 777 Civilian Airliner Development Team

1995 The X-31 International Test Team

1994 Patty Wagstaff

1993 Dr. Compton J. Tucker

1992 The Magellan Project Team

1991 John C. Mather and the Cosmic Background Explorer Team

1990 The Pegasus Launch Vehicle Team

1989 The Voyager Spacecraft Team

1988 Paul MacCready

1987 Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager

1986 John W. Young

1985 Astronauts Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D. and Capt. Bruce McCandless, USN

Accepting Nominations

Two Trophies are awarded yearly: one for Current Achievement and one for Lifetime Achievement. 

The Michael Collins Trophy for Current Achievement is awarded to an individual, group, team, or group or team leader for an achievement made since the beginning of the previous calendar year.

The Michael Collins Trophy for Lifetime Achievement is awarded to a living individual.

Nominate an Individual or Team