Mars Curiosity Rover Wins 2012 Collier Trophy

Award goes to Curiosity for its success on Mars.

NASA Mars Curiosity
NASA Mars Curiosity
** NASA's Mars rover Curiosity**

The National Aeronautic Association announced on Tuesday that the team behind the Mars Curiosity Rover will be awarded the 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy. The award was given "...in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation's technological and engineering capabilities and significantly improving humanity's understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments."

The Mars Curiosity Rover was one of seven nominees up for the 2012 award this year. Other nominees included the Lockheed Martin Cargo Unmanned Aerial System, the NASA/JPL Dawn Project Team, the Gulfstream G650, the United States Air Force MC-12 Project Liberty Team and Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos Team.

The Collier Trophy will be presented at the annual Robert J. Collier Trophy Dinner on May 9 in Arlington, Virginia.

In a poll conducted by Flying, readers voted for their favorite finalist with Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos Team coming out on top as the clear winner and the Mars Curiosity Rover coming in as the runner-up.

While this year’s slate of Collier nominees included some revolutionary projects, not all past winners have lived up to the hype. Check out our Epic Collier Trophy Fails photo gallery to take a look at some past achievements that didn’t turn out as planned.