Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum honours Stamatis Krimigis
The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Trophy for 2015 was awarded to Stamatios “Tom” M. Krimigis for Lifetime Achievement. Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis, who for 45 years has pioneered the exploration of our solar system and beyond while at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, has received the museum’s highest honor. Established in 1985, the award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of aerospace science and technology and their history.
“The winners of the 2015 Trophy Awards have significantly advanced space exploration and discovery in major ways,” said Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, the John and Adrian Mars Director of the museum. “Few individuals have contributed more significantly to our knowledge of the solar system in a single career than Dr. Krimigis”
“Tom is one of our most storied and experienced scientists,” said Ralph Semmel, director of APL, “and we are tremendously proud of this recognition of a life propelled forward by scientific curiosity. His professional career coincided with the dawn of space exploration, and he and his colleagues took full advantage of that amazing opportunity. His visionary work developing new and innovative ways for NASA to explore the solar system provided the Laboratory with the opportunity to contribute engineering and science expertise to humanity’s quest to understand our universe.”
Krimigis, recognized as an innovative leader in space-program development, has made fundamental contributions to space science and exploration. He has led or participated in space physics experiments deployed to all eight major planets, the only scientist in the world to do so. He has also made valuable discoveries in the physics of the solar wind and the magnetosphere of the solar system. He played a crucial role in transforming planetary exploration as one of the initiators of NASA Discovery, a planetary missions program, and as the leader of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory Space Department in the development of the NEAR Shoemaker, MESSENGER and New Horizons missions. Currently, he is involved in missions to Mercury, Saturn, Pluto and the heliosphere, and participating in path-breaking contributions to understanding the transition zone to interstellar space. In Greece, his native country, he is playing a critical role in encouraging the development of space science.