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Ballot Instructions

The Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award honors those individuals who have made significant, lifetime contributions to the creation of a free, spacefaring civilization. Their contributions can be in any form – such as scientific, technical, engineering, theoretical, written (fiction or nonfiction), political, philosophical, visionary, public relations, or mass media, economic or business, etc., or a combination of the above. Those individuals whose actions have involved personal, social, or financial risk are particularly meritorious. Do not exclude anyone from consideration if his contribution is in only one area, such as engineering.

The Award is named after author Robert A. Heinlein, in memory of him and of his many contributions to the pro-space movement. These include serving as a Director of the L5 Society for about a decade. The 17th Heinlein award will be presented at the 37th International Space Development Conference to be held in Los Angeles, California, in May 2018.

Only living individuals, or those who have been deceased less than three years prior to the starting date of the convention (died after May 24, 2015), and of any nationality, are eligible for this award. Previous award winners are: Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Dr. Wernher von Braun, Gene Roddenberry, Dr. Robert H. Goddard, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Carl Sagan, Neil Armstrong, Robert Zubrin, Capt. James Lovell, Gen. Chuck Yeager, Burt Rutan, Dr. Peter Diamandis, Dr. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Dr. Jerry Pournelle. These individuals are not eligible for this award again.

On the Ballot below is a list of all 26 candidates (eligible in 2018), who received 10 or more cumulative vote points in the 2016 balloting: You are NOT limited to choosing from the list. These are examples only. By casting a write-in vote, you may help get a new candidate name onto the fall 2019 or later ballots.

All current NSS members in good standing are eligible to vote for this award. Each NSS chapter may cast one ballot, which will be counted once, and then again for each additional block of 50 NSS members belonging to that chapter, up to a maximum of 4 times. A Chapter Officer must cast the ballot, with the Chapter's Name and the member count, the voting officer's Title, along with the chapter officer's name and other id information given in the main ID block on the Ballot.

Each member or chapter should indicate 3 choices for the award recipient, in order of decreasing preference. To fill your three choices, you may use any combination of names from the list of top candidates and write-in names. The winner is selected by a modified Australian weighted vote system. Your first choice gets 4 points, the second 2 points, and the third 1 point. During the ballot counting process, the combined vote point totals of eligible candidates received for the 2016 and previous awards are decremented by 25% and then added to this year's vote point totals. The individual with the highest number of total vote points will receive the award for 2018 and will no longer be eligible for future awards.

(NSS members use only)

NSS Members: Please indicate your choices for the recipient of the 2018 Heinlein Memorial Award by Selecting (from the top candidates list) OR Writing–In the names of up to three individual people, in order of decreasing preference. You may not vote for the same individual more than once on this ballot. The names are in alphabetical order.

Candidate Names First Choice (4 points) Second Choice (2 points) Third Choice (1 point)
Paul Allen
Anousheh Ansari
Robert Bigelow
Sir Richard Branson
Pres. George W. Bush
Gen. Michael Collins
Hugh Downs
Dr. Frank Drake
Dr. K. Eric Drexler
Dr. Freeman Dyson
Lori Garver
Dr. Dan Goldin
Dr. Michael Griffin
Chris Hadfield
Tom Hanks
Gary Hudson
Peter Kokh
George Lucas
John Mankins
F. Storey Musgrave
Kim Stanley Robinson
William Shatner
Dennis Tito
Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Dr. Peter Worden
Capt. John Young


First Choice Name
Second Choice Name
Third Choice Name

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Select this box for Chapter Votes only:
This ballot site will be closed at midnight, November 30, 2017 (Hawaiian time).

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