The NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team will receive the 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association announced on Tuesday. In choosing the project from a field of seven nominees, the committee cited 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."
Curiosity took second place in AVweb's online poll, attracting just over half the votes given to Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos Team. The other nominees were Lockheed Martin's unmanned aerial cargo system, the NASA/JPL Dawn Project team, the Gulfstream G650, and the U.S. Air Force MC-12 Project Liberty Team. The trophy will be formally presented at the annual Robert J. Collier Trophy Dinner on May 9, in Arlington, Va.; information about tickets for the event can be found at www.naa.aero.