Northrop Grumman wins space exploration award

The Lunar Crater Sensing and Observation Satellite – based on technology developed by Northrop Grumman in collaboration with NASA’s Ames Research Center and United Alliance Launch -has been awarded this year’s Space Foundation John L. “Jack” Swigert Award for Space Exploration.

The program confirmed the presence of water ice on the moon and was a key reason LCROSS was selected for the award, said Space Foundation Executive Officer Elliott Pulham.

“We were impressed with the way LCROSS leveraged both civil and commercial assets into a relatively low-cost, fast-turnaround project. Big bang – both figuratively and literally – for relatively few bucks,” he said.

The Space Foundation created the Swigert Award in 2004 as a tribute to the astronaut’s lasting legacy of space exploration. Previous recipients include NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander Team, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, The California Institute of Technology, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and NASA’s Mars Exploration Team from JPL.