UK Gaia Teams win two Arthur C Clarke Awards

2 June 2017

Last night (31 May 2017), the Gaia project picked up two ‘Arthurs’ at the annual UK Space Conference Gala Dinner held at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards (the ‘Arthurs’) have been presented since 2005 and recognise significant contributions to space activities.

The UK Gaia Science Team won the Space Achievement – Academic Study/Research award "For its role in processing and analysing data from the Gaia star mapping mission as its contribution to the European Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.” Gaia also won the Industry/Project Team award, which went to Airbus Defence and Space "For the successful design and manufacture of the Gaia spacecraft and telescope which for the last 3 years has been accurately measuring the location and motion of the stars.” 

The MSSL Gaia team consists of 7 people at MSSL, 2 are members of MSSL’s Astrophysics Group and 5 members of MSSL’s Software Engineering Group.  They are all members of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) and are working with UK and European colleagues to develop the data processing software. Steve Baker (UCL Gaia Project Manager) said “it is very nice for the UK Gaia team to be recognised for more than 10 years of dedication and hard work”.

The award was presented by UK/ESA Astronaut Tim Peake to Gerry Gilmore (UK Gaia PI), Martin Barstow and Simon Hodgkin, who received it on behalf of the wider UK team. The award is made of glass, and is based on the monolith in Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the same proportions (1:4:9). 

The full list of nominees for 2017 can be found at (

The news announcement on the Gaia UK pages can be found here

Page last modified on 02 jun 17 17:02