Kent’s Blue Origin is recognized Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C., with the Commercial Space Pioneer Award by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Kent’s Blue Origin is recognized Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C., with the Commercial Space Pioneer Award by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Kent’s Blue Origin wins Commercial Space Pioneer Award

New Shepard Team rocket program recognized by Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Kent-based Blue Origin received the 2022 Commercial Space Pioneer Award from the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

The company’s New Shepard Team was recognized for its outstanding technical contributions over the past year that has enabled commercial access to space. The New Shepard rocket had three successful human flights to space in 2021. Fourteen people traveled to space, six on the third flight and four each on the previous two missions.

Owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin’s goals are to get people living and working in space. The company opened in Kent in 2000.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, whose offices are in Washington, D.C., is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, the federation and its 90 members are laying the foundation for a sustainable space economy and democratizing access to space for scientists, students, civilians and businesses, according to its website.

“The CSF awards were established three years ago to recognize the accomplishments and commitments by individuals and companies that have contributed to the industry’s unprecedented growth and continued success,” said CSF President Karina Drees. “Their efforts have contributed to our collective commitment to democratize space for all.”

Winners were recognized at the FAA/CSF Commercial Space Transportation Conference during a luncheon presentation on Thursday, Feb. 17, in Washington, D.C, featuring a keynote address from U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado.

Hickenlooper also received The Commercial Space Policy Award as a policymaker who has made significant and lasting contributions over the past year to the advancement of commercial space policy.

“CSF received countless nominations this year, making the decision particularly challenging in narrowing down a slate of winners for what was a truly extraordinary year in commercial space,” said Caryn Schenewerk, CSF chair and vice president for Regulatory and Government Affairs for Relativity Space, in congratulating the winners.

Other 2022 winners included:

• Elon Musk, SpaceX, for The Commercial Space Business & Finance Award: recognizes an investor, financier, or benefactor of commercial space activities whose support has benefited the industry as a whole.

• Jeff Foust, SpaceNews, for The Excellence in Commercial Space Journalism Award: recognizes a member of the media who has published critical stories on commercial space, contributed to expanding public awareness of the industry, and demonstrated the highest levels of journalistic integrity.

• The Future Space Leaders Foundation for The Patti Grace Smith STEM Award: recognizes a student, teacher, or program who/that has demonstrated a commitment to scientific excellence and the expansion of knowledge for the next generation of commercial space pioneers.

• Tim Hughes, SpaceX and Clay Mowry, Voyager Space Holdings, for The James Kuzma Space Community Award: recognizes outstanding contributions to the commercial space industry through advocacy and community building.

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