Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal


Frank Joseph Malina (October 2, 1912 – November 9, 1981) was an American aeronautical engineer and painter, especially known for becoming both a pioneer in the art world and the realm of scientific engineering. Frank J. Malina also was an active volunteer of the International Astronautical Federation. He was a long serving SEOC member and SEOC Chair.

Since 1986, the Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal is presented annually to an educator who has demonstrated excellence in taking the fullest advantage of the resources available to them to promote the study of astronautics and related space sciences. Any IAF member organisations in good standing may nominate candidates for the Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal. Only one nomination per organisation will be accepted each year. Every year during the IAF Spring Meetings in Paris, the IAF Malina Medal Subcommittee reviews the nominations and select the recipient.

The committee receives many high quality applications each year. Acknowledging that a lot of effort goes into the preparation of these nominations, the nomination will stay current for a period of 3 years from submission. Nominees have the opportunity to update the application annually in accordance with the publicised deadlines

The Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal recipient is honoured during the International Astronautical Congress’ (IAC) closing ceremony. The award consists of an engraved commemorative medal and a certificate of citation. The Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal recipient is also invited to participate in the Gala Dinner of the IAC. For further information about this programme, please contact the IAF Secretariat at award [at]

IMG_0579John Logsdon receives the 2013 Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal from IAF President Kiyoshi Higuchi at the IAC Closing Ceremony in Beijing, China. More pictures

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2016 Recipient

Bénédicte Escudier


Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal recipients include:

  • 2015 Boris Pschenichner (Russia)
  • 2014 Bryan Debates (USA)
  • 2013 John M. Logsdon (USA)
  • 2012 Amelia Ercoli-Finzi (Italy)
  • 2011 Yves Gourinat (France)
  • 2010 Jean-Marie Wersinger (USA)
  • 2009 Barbara Morgan (USA)
  • 2008 Anne Brumfitt (Australia)
  • 2007 Peter M. Bainum (USA)
  • 2006 Tetsuo Yasaka (Japan)
  • 2005 G.P. “Bud” Peterson (USA)
  • 2004 Eugene Dzhur (Ukraine)
  • 2003 William A. Hiscock (USA)
  • 2002 Sir Martin Sweeting (UK)
  • 2001 Carlo Buongiorno (Italy)
  • 2000 Roland Doré (Canada)
  • 1999 John L. Junkins (Texas A&M University, USA)
  • 1998 Kiran Karnik (ISRO, India)
  • 1997 Vladimir V. Prisniakov and Skip Fletcher (Ukraine/Texas A&M University, USA)
  • 1996 Julius E. Dash and Prof. Motocki Hinada (Oregon State University, USA/Institute of Space & Astro Science, Japan)
  • 1995 John L. Whitesides (The George Washington University, USA)
  • 1994 Richard A. Seebass (University of Colorado, USA)
  • 1993 Hans H. Von Muldau (PFIAT, Germany)
  • 1992 Oleg M. Alifanov and Dr. Willy Sadeh (Moscow Aviation Institute, Russia/Colorado State University, USA)
  • 1991 Gerald M. Gregoreck (USA)
  • 1990 no recipient
  • 1989 no recipient
  • 1988 André Lebeau (Météo France, France)
  • 1987 Luigi G. Napolitano (University of Naples, Italy)
  • 1986 Sharon Krista McAuliffe (First Teacher in Space, posthumously, USA)