Dr. Jerry Pournelle wins 2016 Heinlein Memorial award

I am very pleased to see Dr. Pournelle recognized for his many contributions to Man’s exploration and development of space. It has been one of the great privileges of my life to have the opportunity to work with such a brilliant man and he continues to be an inspiration to those of us who believe in the importance of Man and Western civilization. Congratulations, Dr. Pournelle! – Vox

The National Space Society takes great pleasure in announcing that
its 2016 Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award has been won by acclaimed
science fiction author Dr. Jerry Pournelle. This prestigious award
selected by an international vote of NSS members will be presented to
Dr. Jerry Pournelle at the 2016 International Space Development
Conference (ISDC).The public is welcome to
attend the conference and see the award presentation at the Sheraton
Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ISDC will run
from May 18-22, 2016.

About Dr. Jerry Pournelle

This award recognizes Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s many years of support for
space science, exploration, development and settlement and his close
association with Robert Heinlein. He was active in the NSS predecessor,
the L5 Society, during its early years. Jerry served as co-chair of the
very first ISDC, NSS secretary, and as a Board member.

Jerry was also Chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Council on National
Space Policy. This group was active during the 1980s and was one of the
most effective groups promoting specific space related policy positions
at that time. Robert Heinlein was also an active member of that group.
The group’s early support of missile defense eventually led to the
perceived need for an inexpensive launcher. The briefing that he and two
others gave to then Vice President Quayle was instrumental in getting
the approval of the DC-X program, overcoming widespread skepticism about
the project. Jerry was present at White Sands on September 11, 1993
when the first large rocket, the DC-X vehicle, was reused.

Jerry has consistently supported the vision of self-sustaining human
settlements in space and on planetary surfaces, and as part of a free,
spacefaring civilization, which is at the very heart of the space
movement. Jerry’s work as a science fiction author, focusing on science
fiction with realistic physics, has contributed to a better
understanding of the limitations and the abilities of human space
operations. Few have made such a rich contribution to these fields.

About the Robert A. Heinlein Award

This award is presented once every two years for lifetime achievement
in promoting the goal of a free, spacefaring civilization. The winner
is decided by the vote of the entire NSS membership, not by the awards
committee. The award consists of a miniature signal cannon, on a
mahogany base with a black granite inlay and a brass plaque as shown.
The award concept came from Robert Heinlein’s classic book The Moon is a
Harsh Mistress. Some of the early award winners include Sir Arthur C.
Clarke, Carl Sagan, Neil Armstrong and Elon Musk. More information about
this award and the past winners is here.