Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been hailed as the recipient of the 2023 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) World Space Award for individuals. The award was given during the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Photos of the event that were shared online revealed that Musk was not able to personally receive his award. Instead, Stephanie Bednarek, SpaceX’s Senior Director of Commercial Launch Sales, received the award on behalf of Musk.
CONGRATULATIONS to our awardees!🏆 Elon Musk the winner of the IAF World Space Award, Stephanie Bednarek received it on his behalf. The IAF World Space Award for Teams was awarded to @NASA, @csa_asc @esa and handed to Pam Melroy during the Opening Ceremony!✨#IAC2023 pic.twitter.com/F0TCrYhJVl— IAF (@iafastro) October 3, 2023
The IAF explained why it selected Elon Musk as its awardee for this year. As per the organization, the CEO’s drive and willingness to put his own resources on the line was what made SpaceX very competitive in the launch segment. SpaceX’s innovations have also paved the way towards a more affordable space industry.
“Mr. Elon Reeve Musk has shown a visionary understanding of the role and importance of astronautics to humanity’s future combined with a willingness to commit his own resources, life and drive and ability to make it happen through Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX); a company that has matched the achievements of the Space Agencies in the fields of launch systems and human spaceflight, making space affordable and building space for @ll,” the IAF wrote.
Thank you on behalf of the people of SpaceX for whom all credit is deserved! https://t.co/Wkwonqm332— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2023
Elon Musk was not the only recipient of the IAF’s award this year. As per the organization, the 2023 IAF World Space Award for teams was given to NASA, ESA, and the CSA James Webb Space Telescope Team. The IAF explained its award to the groups in the following section.
“Webb is the world’s premier space science observatory that has already transformed our understanding of the universe in its first year of operation. Led by NASA, ESA and CSA, more than 20,000 team members from 14 countries have contributed to mission success.
“Scientific opportunities and data from Webb are available globally, with several papers being submitted daily for scientific peer review and publication. In addition to the science, Webb has demonstrated the benefits of international cooperation, practical applications from cutting edge technological development, and global inspiration from discovery,” the IAF wrote.
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