The American Rocketry Challenge Receives the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Spirit of Flight Award

January 21, 2021


The American Rocketry Challenge Receives the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Spirit of Flight Award


Arlington, Va. — This week, the Board of Trustees of the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) presented its 2020 Spirit of Flight Award to the American Rocketry Challenge. The Spirit of Flight Award recognizes organizations that serve a special need of the nation and set high standards by the utilization of aerospace assets. One of the most applicable of the criteria met by the American Rocketry Challenge is the “creativity” that voters of the Spirit of Flight Award are charged to identify.


“The Spirit of Flight Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor,” said Aerospace Industries Association President & CEO Eric Fanning. “Hosting the American Rocketry Challenge is a privilege for AIA, and this award recognizes our continued commitment to growing the next generation of aerospace and defense leaders. Year after year, we are inspired by the ingenuity and brilliance of our young rocketeers, and we cannot wait to see how they shape our future.”


NAHF President and CEO, Amy Spowart shares, “The American Rocketry Challenge definitely sets a high standard for STEAM education in this nation and that made it an easy choice for the Spirit of Flight voters.” Spowart adds, “The past awardees and the challenging criteria for this award put it among the most sought after in aerospace. The American Rocketry Challenge’s worthiness comes by way of its multifaceted benefits to aviation; from offering hands-on STEAM principles to students in 6th to 12th grade and encouraging them to consider and pursue careers in aerospace. It’s a win-win for our industry.”


Past winners of the Spirit of Flight range from historical groups like the WWII era “Flying Tigers”, to aerospace icons like the Apollo Missions, to industry leaders such as the Boeing Company. A complete list can be seen at


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About the American Rocketry Challenge: The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest, with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing annually. The contest provides students in 6th – 12th grades the opportunity to design, build, and launch model rockets and gain hands-on experience solving engineering problems. Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry, and more than twenty aerospace industry partners, including NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Defense, the challenge is the aerospace industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering and math.


About The National Aviation Hall of Fame: The National Aviation Hall of Fame, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, is the only Congressionally-chartered aviation hall of fame in the U.S. Based in Dayton, OH, the NAHF’s Heritage Hall & Education Center is committed to informing the public of American aviation heroes, their accomplishments, and their impact on advances in aviation from Early Flight to Space Travel. The NAHF strives to create a distinctive educational resource that will inspire future generations to appreciate our nation’s extraordinary aviation heritage through the men and women who created it.


About the Aerospace Industries Association: For over 100 years, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has served as an advocate, resource, and convener to shape policy, shed light on the industry’s impact, and lay the groundwork for its future. CEO-level officers from across our more than 300 member companies guide these efforts, strengthening the industry’s ability to effectively support America’s national security and economy. Together, we advocate for effective federal investments; accelerated deployment of innovative technologies; policies that enhance our global competitiveness; and empower a capable and diverse 21st century workforce. For more information, visit