FRANK J. MALINA ASTRONAUTICS MEDAL CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

Colleagues

It is with great pleasure that I bring to your attention the call for nominations for the

FRANK J. MALINA ASTRONAUTICS MEDAL – 2017 CALL FOR NOMINATIONS- Deadline for nominations Feb 17, 2017

The first award was to Sharon Krista McAuliffe (First Teacher in Space, posthumously, USA). The purpose of this medal reinforces Frank Malina’s deep commitment to the peaceful uses of outer space. As you can read in the paper abstract at the end of this blog post by historian Fraser MacDonald, Frank Malina left the rocketry business as pioneer  whose team launched the first human made object into space, largely because he refused to work on  putting atom bombs on rockets. Fraser Macdonald in the abstract below says:

he developed :what we might call a kind of ‘leftist Olympianism’. ….. I show how Malina wanted to transcend, as he saw it, the ‘contradictions’ of political geography to offer a programme for ‘one world’ government. This programme was to be thrashed out, under his direction, by a committee comprised of: an economist or economic geographer, a construction engineer, a psychoanalyst, a philosopher and a politician.  In articulating this vision, he saw himself as ‘developing a new awareness… able to withdraw from … happenings of the moment … perched above the Earth as an observer of the whole’. ” ( I cant but help editorialise on how this vision might help us given the strange political turns under way in USA and Western Europe which turn their back the work of  international collaboration that is a legacy of WWI survivors)

Please nominate candidates for the Frank Malina Astronautics Medal and share this announcement to your friends and colleagues. The deadline  for nominations is Feb 17, 2017

http://www.iafastro.org/frank-j-malina-astronautics-medal-2017-call-for-nominations/

FRANK J. MALINA ASTRONAUTICS MEDAL – 2017 CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

 

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is pleased to announce its 2017 Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal that recognises outstanding contributions to space education by an educator who promotes the study of astronautics and space science.

The call for nominations for the Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal is addressed to IAF member organisations in good standing. Only one application per organisation will be accepted per year.

The most important criterion for this award is that an educator “has taken the fullest advantage of the resources available to him/her to promote the study of astronautics and related space sciences”.

If you have a nominee, please submit the following information:

  • 1 nomination letter;
  • The candidate’s credentials, including educational background, work history, awards and honours, and published works;
  • At least 3 letters of recommendation, two professional and one personal; letters from students are encouraged;
  • The nomination package should be forwarded under cover of a letter from an IAF member organisation, signed by the responsible official of that organisation, and listing the point of contact for any questions.

The entire application should not exceed 15 pages.

The Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal recipient will be selected by the Malina Medal Subcommittee who will review the nominations and make a recommendation to the IAF Honours and Awards Committee who will, in turn, make a recommendation for the recipient to the IAF Bureau during the IAF Spring Meetings in March 2017. The final decision rests with the IAF Bureau.

The Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal comprises an engraved commemorative medal and a certificate of citation. The medal will be awarded to the recipient during the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Closing Ceremony and the recipient will be invited to participate in the Gala Dinner of the IAC as a special guest of the IAF President. In addition, the recipient will deliver the Keynote Address in the E1 Space Education and Outreach Symposium taking place during International Astronautical Congress.

Nomination documents must be received by IAF Secretariat by the 13 February 2017 15:00 CET (Paris time), preferably by email at award@iafastro.org (Subject line: NOMINEE’S LAST NAME Nominee’s First Name-2017 Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal).

If email is not available, the reference can be sent by postal mail to:

IAF Secretariat

Attention: 2017 Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal

3 rue Marco Nikis

75015 Paris

France

Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal recipients include:

  • 2015 Boris Pschenichner (Russia)

  • 2014 Bryan Debates (USA)

  • 2013 John M. Logsdon (USA)

  • 2012 Amelia Ercoli-Finzi (Italy)

  • 2011 Yves Gourinat (France)

  • 2010 Jean-Marie Wersinger (USA)

  • 2009 Barbara Morgan (USA)

  • 2008 Anne Brumfitt (Australia)

  • 2007 Peter M. Bainum (USA)

  • 2006 Tetsuo Yasaka (Japan)

  • 2005 G.P. “Bud” Peterson (USA)

  • 2004 Eugene Dzhur (Ukraine)

  • 2003 William A. Hiscock (USA)

  • 2002 Sir Martin Sweeting (UK)

  • 2001 Carlo Buongiorno (Italy)

  • 2000 Roland Doré (Canada)

  • 1999 John L. Junkins (Texas A&M University, USA)

  • 1998 Kiran Karnik (ISRO, India)

  • 1997 Vladimir V. Prisniakov and Skip Fletcher (Ukraine/Texas A&M University, USA)

  • 1996 Julius E. Dash and Prof. Motocki Hinada (Oregon State University, USA/Institute of Space & Astro Science, Japan)

  • 1995 John L. Whitesides (The George Washington University, USA)

  • 1994 Richard A. Seebass (University of Colorado, USA)

  • 1993 Hans H. Von Muldau (PFIAT, Germany)

  • 1992 Oleg M. Alifanov and Dr. Willy Sadeh (Moscow Aviation Institute, Russia/Colorado State University, USA)

  • 1991 Gerald M. Gregoreck (USA)

  • 1990 no recipient

  • 1989 no recipient

  • 1988 André Lebeau (Météo France, France)

  • 1987 Luigi G. Napolitano (University of Naples, Italy)

  • 1986 Sharon Krista McAuliffe (First Teacher in Space, posthumously, USA)

 

Here is Fraser Macdonald;s talk abtract he will present in January

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, January 2017

‘Perched above the Earth as an observer of the whole’: the satellite
politics of Frank J. Malina

Fraser MacDonald

____________________________________

This paper is about the co-constitution of scientific and political authority in the life and work of rocket engineer Frank J. Malina. As a starting point, I take inspiration from the scholarship of the late Denis Cosgrove who considered the historical geography of Earth imagery, from Humboldt’s Cosmos to the modernist global visions of
Apollo photographs, 22727 and Earthrise. Unlike Cosgrove, the paper examines a purely abstract political image: one in which early technologies of space exploration foster an imaginative apprehension of ‘one world’ politics in the post-war period.

Frank J. Malina (1912-1981) is among the least recognized and yet most important figures in twentieth century American science. His propulsion research at Caltech in the late 1930s, supervised by the Hungarian aerodynamicist Theodor von Karman, led to the first successful US rocket program and to their jointly founding the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, today celebrated as a NASA facility for
autonomous interplanetary exploration. Today, Malina is not well known, despite his singular contribution as the architect of the first object to reach into extra-terrestrial space: the WAC Corporal rocket. Two factors partially explain Malina’s relative obscurity: an FBI
campaign gripped by concerns about his Communist Party membership; and his abandonment of practical rocketry, in protest against its weaponisation, to work initially at UNESCO, and, later, as a pioneer of kinetic art.

This paper considers a specific moment in the biography of Malina – the summer of 1946 – to open up wider questions about relationship between science and politics at the cusp of orbital access. Shortly before he left both the United States and his position as Director of JPL, Malina signed a contract with the Navy Bureau of Astronautics to
investigate the viability of a satellite launch vehicle. His idea was fatefully dropped on cost grounds: no state wanted a satellite in the late 1940s. Malina’s WAC Corporal however remained an unqualified success, soaring to altitudes of 235,000ft in 1945 and 1946. I demonstrate how this achievement also informs a development in Malina’s political thinking, moving from a strict adherence to the
CPUSA line to what we might call a kind of ‘leftist Olympianism’. Using a previously unseen cache of letters between Frank and his wife Liljan, then in the midst of separation and divorce, I show how Malina wanted to transcend, as he saw it, the ‘contradictions’ of political
geography to offer a programme for ‘one world’ government. This programme was to be thrashed out, under his direction, by a committee comprised of: an economist or economic geographer, a construction
engineer, a psychoanalyst, a philosopher and a politician.  In articulating this vision, he saw himself as ‘developing a new awareness… able to withdraw from … happenings of the moment … perched above the Earth as an observer of the whole’. Like his satellite vehicle, this proposal didn’t get off the ground but it provides a fascinating glimpse into the folding of midcentury science and politics.  The failure of Malina’s satellite idea inspires him to an act of imaginative transcendence – the embodiment of Donna Haraway’s
famous ‘God trick’ – where he could look down on ‘the best possible division of the world’s resources’. This vision is, I will argue, only made possible by the particular conjunction of political and scientific authority.
ROGER MALINA