UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


UK Gaia Teams win two Sir Arthur Clarke Awards

8 June 2017

UK Gaia Science Team, including six members from the UCL Mullard Science Space Laboratory, have won an Arthur Clarke Award.


The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards recognise and reward those individuals and teams that have made notable or outstanding achievements in, or contributions to, all space activities in the past year, 2016/17.  Better known as 'The Arthurs', they have been presented annually since 2005.

Sponsored by the UK Space Agency again this year, the Award Ceremony was held on Wednesday 31 May at the UK Space Conference Gala Dinner in The Victoria Warehouse, a prestigious 750 seat venue in central Manchester.

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."   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 Gaia Science Team members at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory are: Mark Cropper (PI), Mike Smith, George Seabroke, Kevin Benson, Chris Dolding and Steve Baker (PM), with continued support from Howard Huckle since his retirement.   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, "Gaia is a hugely ambitious mission which has already charted over a billion stars in our galaxy to create the largest all-sky survey of celestial objects to date, at precisions that have never been achieved before.  The UK are a key partner in the European Gaia Consortium and it is great for the UK Gaia team to be recognised for more than 10 years of dedication and hard work".