CloudSat, a joint project of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Colorado State University and other agencies, has received a Rotary National Award for Space Achievement for providing unprecedented perspectives of Earth’s clouds.
CloudSat, which is the world’s first cloud-profiling radar in orbit, launched on April 28, 2006, and reached a position 438 miles above Earth. The satellite is part of NASA’s "A-Train" of Earth observation satellites and one of the very few university-led earth science missions. Graeme Stephens, a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, serves as the principal investigator for the team, which also includes the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Canadian Space Agency. Colorado State’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere processes CloudSat data for the scientific community.
The CloudSat team received the award for "exceptional achievement by an international joint government, university and industry team in conceiving, designing, developing and launching the CloudSat spacecraft that provides an unprecedented three-dimensional perspective of Earth’s clouds to answer questions about how they form, evolve and affect the weather, climate and fresh water supply."
The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation Stellar Awards recognize outstanding individuals and teams from industry and government who have made significant contributions to the U.S. space program. The foundation was established in 1985 by the Space Center Rotary Club.