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Birkbeck academic wins 2023 NASA Exploration Science Award

The awards recognise outstanding achievements in exploration science, with the five award recipients each making unique contributions to NASA’s human exploration efforts.

Professor Ian Crawford
Professor Ian Crawford

Ian Crawford, Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology, has been awarded the NASA Michael J. Wargo Exploration Science Award, an annual award given to a scientist or engineer who has significantly contributed to the integration of space exploration and planetary science throughout their career. 

Professor Crawford commented: Mike Wargo, after whom the award is named, was a former Chief Exploration Scientist at NASA and a ubiquitous and enthusiastic advocate for lunar science and exploration when I was first setting out in this field twenty years go. Mike passed away at far too young an age and it's really great that NASA created this award in his memory. I am of course greatly honoured to receive it. I would like to thank all my colleagues, and especially former students and post-docs at Birkbeck and elsewhere, without whom my own contributions to lunar science and exploration would not have been possible. 

Professor Crawford has contributed over 150 papers to scientific and professional journals on astronomy, planetary science, astrobiology and space exploration, and his lunar science and exploration research has been hugely impactful. His leadership has been recognized though his roles on the European Space Agency (ESA) Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (2014-2017) and the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) of the European Science Foundation (2008-2015) among many others. In 2007 he was a member of the UK Space Exploration Working Group, which recommended increased UK involvement in global space exploration. Professor Crawford has long had an interest in the future of space exploration and is convinced that space exploration and development will prove to be of central importance for the future of humanity. 

Award winners are nominated by their academic peers, recommended by a committee based at the NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) central office and selected by SSERVI leadership. 

Professor Crawford’s award will be presented at the European Lunar Symposium 2023 in Padua, Italy, taking place from 27 to 29 June. 

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