The Stardust project, which explores solutions to the threats posed by asteroids and space debris, was the winner in the Space Achievement/Academic Study Research category of the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, presented at the UK Space Conference 2015 in Liverpool.
The award is made for “significant or outstanding achievements in space research” and reflects Stardust’s “innovative and effective” approach to dealing with manufactured objects in space and the monitoring, deflection and manipulation of asteroids.
The award was collected on behalf of the Stardust team by Chiara Tardioli and Clemens Rumpf, Marie Curie Research Fellows on the Stardust Project, and was presented by the first Briton in space, Helen Sharman.
It follows Strathclyde’s previous success at the 2011 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, in which the University’s Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory was the winner in the Space Research category.
Peter McGinty, Stardust Network Manager, said: “This prestigious award is a fantastic achievement for Stardust, as well as for Strathclyde’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. It‘s a testament to the pioneering, forward-looking work of our researchers and demonstrates the esteem in which they are held.
“Asteroids are a significant natural threat to the Earth but we now have the knowledge and technology to tackle the risks they present and are continually working to refine and enhance its capabilities.
“Space activity is essential to our understanding of the universe and our place in it. Managing and controlling the debris which is a by-product of this exploration will allow us to continue to make further progress in the research and ensure a safe future for our assets in orbit.”
Stardust is a €4.1m project funded by the European Commission under the FP7 People/Marie Curie Actions grant scheme. The network gathers together researchers and leaders from 17 different institutions, including academia, industry, research think tanks and the European Space Agency.