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Collier Trophy

Established in 1911, the Robert J. Collier Trophy is awarded annually for great achievement in aeronautics and astronautics in America. Conferred by the National Aeronautic Association, it recognizes advances in the performance, efficiency, or safety of air and space vehicles. The NACA and NASA have received the award several times for research and projects undertaken over the past century.

Dr. John Klineberg accepts the Collier Trophy for NASA

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Winners

The NACA's First Collier Trophy


NACA for the development of low-drag cowling for radial air-cooled aircraft engines.

President Truman Presents Collier Trophy to Lewis Rodert


Lewis A. Rodert of Ames Aeronautical Laboratory for the development of an efficient wing deicing system.

The Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1-1 (#46-062) in flight.


John Stack of Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory for research to determine the physical laws affecting supersonic flight. Lawrence D. Bell and Chuck Yeager also shared in this trophy for their work on supersonic flight.


John Stack and associates at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory for the development and use of the slotted-throat wind tunnel.

Richard Whitcomb examines a model aircraft incorporating his area rule.


Richard Travis Whitcomb of Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory for the development of the Whitcomb area rule: a "powerful, simple, and useful method of reducing greatly the sharp increase in wing drag heretofore associated with transonic flight, and which constituted a major factor requiring great reserves of power to attain supersonic speeds."

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Winners

Joseph Walker poses with the X-15


Joseph A. Walker of NASA's Flight Research Center (along with Robert M. White, A. Scott Crossfield, and Forrest Peterson) for the scientific advances resulting from the X-15 test program.

The Mercury Seven pose for a photo


NASA's original seven astronauts for the Project Mercury flights.

James Webb and Mrs. Hugh Dryden accept the 1965 Collier Trophy


NASA Administrator James E. Webb and Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden for effective management of a large-scale research institution.

Surveyor III viewed from Apollo 12


Lawrence A. Hyland representing the Surveyor Program Team at Hughes Aircraft Company, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and associated organizations that put the eyes and hands of the United States on the Moon.

Portrait of the Apollo 8 crew


NASA Astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and William A. Anders of NASA for the Apollo 8 lunar orbital mission.

Buzz Aldrin salutes the flag


NASA Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.

The crew of Apollo 15


David R. Scott, James B. Irwin, Alfred M. Worden, and Robert T. Gilruth of NASA for the Apollo 15 lunar mission as the most prolonged and scientifically productive mission of Project Apollo.

Skylab in orbit above Earth as seen by the Skylab 2 crew


NASA's Skylab program, with special recognition to William C. Schneider, program director, and the Skylab astronauts, for the production of scientific data about longterm space flight.

Landsat 1 on the pad


John F. Clark of NASA and Daniel J. Fink of General Electric, representing the NASA/industry team for the development of LANDSAT, proving the value of U.S. space technology in the management of the earth's resources and environment.

Saturn by Voyager 1


Edward C. Stone and NASA's Voyager mission team for the spectacular flyby of Saturn and the return of basic knowledge about the solar system.

STS-1 Launch on April 12, 1981


NASA and the industry team that developed the Space Shuttle and proved the concept of reusable spacecraft, with special recognition to astronauts John W. Young, Robert L. Crippen, Joe H. Engle, and Richard H. Truly.

An astronaut floats in space untethered with Earth far below


NASA and Martin Marietta for the development of the manned maneuvering unit, and the NASA team that rescued three disabled satellites, with special recognition to astronaut Bruce McCandless II, NASA's Charles E. Whitsett, Jr., and Martin Marietta's Walter W. Bollendonk.

Personnel work with a propeller inside the 8 x 6 supersonic wind tunnel


NASA's Lewis Research Center and the NASA/industry advanced turboprop team for the development of a new fuel-efficient turboprop propulsion system.

STS-26 crew poses with Vice President George H.W. Bush.


NASA Administrator Richard H. Truly for success in returning America to manned space flight.

View of the Hubble Space Telescope during the first servicing mission


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Recovery Team for repair of the telescope in December 1993. The citation honored the team "for outstanding leadership, intrepidity, and the renewal of public faith in America's space program by the successful orbital recovery and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope."

The Lockheed ER-2 in flight


Lockheed Martin Corporation, GE Aircraft Engines, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Air Combat Command of the United States Air Force, and Defense Intelligence Agency for designing, manufacturing, and operating the U-2S/ER-2 high altitude, all-weather, multi-functional data collection aircraft, which serves as America’s Sentinel of Peace around the world.

Engineers and technicians check the ADS-B equipment following its installation on NASA Dryden's Ikhana (Predator B) unmanned air


The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Team of Public and Private Sector Groups for conceptualizing, developing, and initially implementing the next generation performance-based air-ground, ground-air, and air-air surveillance system. (NASA is not specifically listed in this award, but researchers from Ames and Langley participated in the team that developed the ADS-B.

Three commercial jets taxiing on the runway.


The Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) which includes NASA for achieving an unprecedented safety level in U.S. commercial airline operations.

The International Space Station orbiting above Earth. Four large pairs of solar panels are seen on either side of the station.


NASA and the International Space Station Team of the Boeing Company, Draper Laboratory, Honeywell Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, United Space Alliance and United Technologies Corporation for the design, development and assembly in space of the world's largest spacecraft, an orbiting laboratory, promising new discoveries for mankind and setting new standards for international cooperation in space.

A self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity rover taken on Sol 2082 (June 15, 2018). A Martian dust storm has reduced sunlight and visibility at the rover's location in Gale Crater.


NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory / Curiosity Project Team "…in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation's technological and engineering capabilities, and significantly improving humanity's understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments."

Artwork showing asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres with the Dawn spacecraft


NASA/JPL Dawn Mission Team, in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of orbiting and exploring protoplanet Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, and advancing the nation’s technological capabilities in pioneering new frontiers in space travel.

In this illustration, NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter stands on the Red Planet's surface as NASA's Perseverance rover (partially visible on the left) rolls away.


The NASA/JPL Ingenuity Mars Helicopter team for "the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet, thereby opening the skies of Mars and other worlds for future scientific discovery and exploration."

View of the James Webb Space Telescope mirrors.


The NASA – Northrop Grumman James Webb Telescope industry team for "revolutionizing the field of astrophysics by successfully commissioning and operating the James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s largest, most powerful and technologically complex space observatory ever built."

This artist's rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface.


NASA and the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) mission team for being the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid and deliver it to Earth for study.

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