University of Virginia Astronomer Seidelmann Honored for International Science Cooperation

February 18, 2006

February 18, 2006 — P. Kenneth Seidelmann, dynamical astronomer and research professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia, was among a team of Russian and American scientists that received the 2005 International Scientific Cooperation Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal “Science.”

The award was presented on Feb. 18 at the annual meeting of the AAAS in St. Louis.

The group of four U.S. and three Russian scientists were honored for both their determination to transcend numerous limitations to collaboration and their pioneering work to advance state-of-the-art space surveillance in both countries for the benefit of the worldwide astrodynamics community and the safety of human activity in space.

In 1994, Seidelmann and Dr. Stanislav S. Veniaminov, an engineer and leading scientist of the Scientific Research Center “Kosmos” of the Russian Department of Defense, initiated the first meeting of space-mapping authorities from the two countries which had, only a few years earlier, been Cold War adversaries. This meeting grew into an exceptional series of workshops aimed at exchanging information on the mathematical methods and systems used for space surveillance in their two countries, and ultimately on comparing and amalgamating the two countries’ separate space-object catalogs.

In addition to Seidelmann and Veniaminov, other members of the team honored by AAAS were Kyle T. Alfriend of Texas A&M, Paul J. Cefola of MIT, Felix R. Hoots of AT&T, Andrey I. Nazarenko of the Russian Aviation Space Agency and Vasiliy S. Yurasov of Moscow’s Space Informatics Analytical Systems

Established in 1992, the AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation recognizes an individual or a limited number of individuals for making extraordinary contributions to further international cooperation in science and engineering. The recipients each receive a commemorative plaque and a share of the $5,000 award.