Launched to honor Apollo 9 astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweickart, it recognizes students, and early career individuals working towards planetary defense solutions

SAN FRANCISCO, June 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, on June 30th, International Asteroid Day, B612 Foundation announced the Schweickart Prize, named in honor of renowned Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, which will recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions to planetary defense and advancing life’s evolutionary journey. The prize acknowledges the significance of embracing our collective responsibility for safeguarding humanity’s transition into the broader cosmos. “Through the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), we worked on the issue of planetary defense from asteroid impacts. Rusty Schweickart took a leadership role with the ASE to enable others to bring this global issue to the United Nations. This topic is now debated on a global stage as a result of Rusty’s commitment. This prize in Rusty’s honor is a fitting tribute to his lifetime of leadership,” said Dr. Franklin Chang-Díaz, NASA astronaut, CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Co, and NASA’s first Hispanic astronaut.

The Schweickart Prize emphasizes the need to address existential risks like asteroid impacts. “As citizens of Earth, we have to do everything in our power to preserve it and save it from all sources of danger. The Schweickart Prize encapsulates this concept and will be a beacon of achievement for all those working to prevent asteroid impacts here on Earth,” said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE, private space explorer and first Iranian astronaut.

The prize will be awarded annually to exceptional individuals, specifically undergraduate and graduate students and early career professionals actively involved in planetary defense. Their work will demonstrate notable progress in threat discovery, mitigation strategies, civil protection, public education, or responsible geopolitical decisions. “The Schweickart Prize will…