9th LEIF ERIKSON AWARDS HONOR PIONEERS OF EXPLORATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Húsavík, Iceland – November 26, 2023
The Leif Erikson Awards, hosted by the Exploration Museum in Húsavík, Iceland, have once again shone a spotlight on trailblazers in exploration and space science. Since 2015, these awards have recognized individuals and organizations who have etched their names in the history of exploration. The 9th edition, announced on November 26, 2023, was no exception, honoring icons who have left an indelible mark on humanity’s journey into the unknown.
Leif Erikson Award: Astronaut Bill Anders
Astronaut Bill Anders has been bestowed with the 2023 Leif Erikson Award for his iconic photograph “Earthrise,” taken during NASA’s Apollo 8 mission in 1968. Anders, the first person to fly to the Moon, captured the Earth rising over the lunar surface, an image that has become one of the most influential environmental photographs in history. Beyond his lunar achievements, Anders’ enduring bond with Iceland, where he once lived during military service, makes him a deserving recipient.
Leif Erikson Young Explorer Award: Kellie Gerardi
Kellie Gerardi, an aerospace and technology professional, receives the 2023 Leif Erikson Young Explorer Award for her pioneering work in bioastronautics research and spacesuit evaluation. Gerardi, also a prolific science communicator, recently made her inaugural spaceflight aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity. Her dedication to inspiring the next generation, particularly young women, aligns seamlessly with the spirit of exploration.
Leif Erikson Exploration History Award: Libby Jackson
Engineer and author Libby Jackson is honored with the 2023 Leif Erikson Exploration History Award for her tireless efforts in preserving the history of female astronauts and space professionals. Jackson’s book, “Galaxy Girls,” narrates the stories of 50 remarkable women who have shaped the course of space exploration.
Leif Erikson Lunar Prize: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
The Indian Space Research Organisation is awarded the 2023 Leif Erikson Lunar Prize for the Chandrayaan-3 mission. This historic achievement includes the first soft landing near the Lunar South Pole, marking India as the fourth nation globally to accomplish this feat.
For further information, please contact:
Europe Contact: Orly Orlyson, Director of the Exploration Museum
Tel: +354 848 7600
North America Contact: Jeff Blumenfeld, Editor of Expedition News