01/10/2003. Contributed by Jessica Martin
The first Heinlein Prize is announced ... and it's $500,000 USD!
The Heinlein Prize, a new award for practical accomplishments in commercial space activities, was announced today at the 54th International Aeronautical Congress underway in Bremen, Germany.
Trustees of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust revealed that the first Heinlein Prize award has been set at $500,000 USD.
The Heinlein Prize may be given as frequently as annually to one or more individuals who have achieved practical accomplishments in the field of commercial space activities. The Trustees emphasize that the award is for effort by an individual - not corporate or government sponsored activities - and that the Heinlein Prize is intended to be world-wide in scope.
"The purpose of the Heinlein Prize is to provide an incentive to spur the advancement of the commercial use of outer space," explained Arthur M. Dula of Houston, Texas, USA, one of three Trustees.
"In order to accomplish that goal, the Trustees will establish an Advisory Board drawn from respected persons in space activities from around the world. The Advisory Board will keep abreast of developments in space commercialization and will review nominations and propose its own candidates for the Heinlein Prize. The Trustees will select recipients of the Prize based upon recommendations from the Advisory Board. The Heinlein Prize will be awarded on July 7th of those years in which the Prize is given."
The Trustees of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust are Mr. Dula, Dr. Buckner Hightower of Austin, Texas, USA, and Mr. James Miller Vaughn, Jr. also of Houston, Texas.
The Heinlein Prize honors the memory of Robert A. Heinlein, a renowned American author. Through his body of work in fiction spanning nearly fifty years during the commencement of man's entry into space, Mr. Heinlein advocated human advancement into space through commercial endeavors.
After Mr. Heinlein's death in 1988, his widow, Virginia Gerstenfeld Heinlein, established the Trust in order to further her husband's vision of humanity's future in space. Funding for the Heinlein Prize came from Mrs. Heinlein's estate after her death earlier this year.
The Trustees are currently in the process of selecting the Board of Advisors. Until the Board of Advisors is announced, nominations for the Heinlein Prize may be made directly to the Trustees though the Heinlein Prize website at www.heinleinprize.com.
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