Skyrora pick up prestigious Icelandic award for environmental contribution

31st Aug 2020
Skyrora pick up prestigious Icelandic award for environmental contribution

The Leif Erikson Lunar Award was previously awarded to 2 astronauts – one of which was Harrison Schmitt, the last man to step foot on the moon.

During their recent trip to Iceland for a test launch, Skyrora was presented with the Leif Erikson Lunar award for their environmental work. This is part of the annual Exploration Awards which are decided by the Scientific Committee of the Exploration Museum. The award ceremony is the conclusion of the annual Explorers Festival held to celebrate mankind’s drive for exploration since 2015 in Husavik, Iceland.

There are three primary categories awarded

  • Lifetime achievement in exploration
  • Young Explorer under the age of 35 for achievements in exploration
  • Promotion and Preservation Exploration Award.

A fourth called the Leif Erikson Lunar Award is available but is only awarded in special circumstances when the committee decides that a party has made exceptional progress towards space exploration.

Skyrora has been awarded the Lunar for its work towards space exploration with the environment centre to its core values. The development of it pioneering waste plastic to fuel, which the company calls Ecosene was recognised for the effort to steer the new space sector along a cleaner and greener path.

Ecosene has previously been tested in Skyrora’s engine tests and their most recent static test firing at the mobile launch facility in the Scottish Highlands.

The awards have been given to some prestigious names in both space and general exploration including previous winners:

  • Harrison Schmitt – Astronaut on Apollo 17 and was the last man to step on the moon
  • Scott Parazynski – Astronaut 5 space flights and 7 space walks also the only astronaut to have summited Mount Everest
  • Alex Bellini – Adventurer who conquered both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans by crossing solo in a rowing boat

Who was Leif Erikson?

Around 500 years before Christopher Columbus landed in America, Icelandic adventurer, Leif Erikson had already put foot on the American mainland.
Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer from Iceland. He is thought to be the first known European to have set foot on continental North America, approximately half a millennium before Christopher Columbus.

In what is now called Newfoundland a Viking-like settlement was discovered in 1963, which matches the description Leif Erikson gave of a place he called “Vinland”.

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