The men and women behind the dramatic landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars in August 2012 were honored with the 2013 Robert J. Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautics Association. The group in this photograph from May 9, 2013, accepted the award on behalf of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, which delivered Curiosity to Mars and operates it on the Red Planet. More than 7,000 people in at least 33 U.S. states and 11 other countries have worked on the Mars Science Laboratory mission. MSL is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
The NAA established the Collier Trophy in 1911 and presents it yearly to recognize the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America. The NAA's Collier citation notes the MSL team's "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."
Image Credit: NAA
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