The National Space Club of Huntsville awards two different types of scholarships as part of its scholarship program. 


Partner Institution Student Scholarship

The first type of scholarship is in support of students attending a college or university in Northern Alabama.  This program is executed in conjunction with partner institutions in Northern Alabama.  In this program, the candidates are provided by the respective schools for evaluation by the NSC-HSV Education Committee.  Candidates are evaluated on the following: GPA; extracurricular actives, awards, etc.; community outreach; degree alignment with STEM and space exploration; and the overall application/information.  Scholarships are intended to support tuition and fees, and checks are made out directly to the partner institutions.  Scholarships can range from $1,000 to $5,000.  U.S. Citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply.

  • University of Alabama in Huntsville

  • Alabama A&M University

  • University of North Alabama

  • Athens State University

  • Calhoun Community College

  • JF Drake State Community and Technical College

Partner Institution Scholarships Include:

  • The Wernher von Braun Memorial Scholarship (VBMS) – endowed scholarship at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)

  • Engineering & Science (University) Scholarships (multiple awards)

  • Engineering & Science (College) Scholarship (possible multiple a

  • Technology Scholarship (College with a specialty in machining, welding, or other similar technology degree applicable to the aerospace community) (possible multiple award)

Children of Members Scholarship

The second type of scholarship is “children-of-members.”  These scholarships are intended to provide a benefit to NSC-HSV members and are open to children & grandchildren of members in good standing.  High school seniors or college freshman thru juniors whose parents or grandparents are members of the club are eligible to apply.  Candidates are evaluated on the following: GPA; extracurricular actives, awards, etc.; community outreach; degree alignment with STEM and space exploration; and the overall application, which includes a short essay. Scholarship values can range from $1,000 to $4,000.  The scholarships are intended to support tuition and fees, and checks are made out directly to the institutions.  U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply.  Family of NSC Board Members are not eligible.  Completed applications with essays must be received via e-mail by midnight March 25, 2022 to:



The 2022 timeline for scholarship applications and selection are as follows:

  • March 11: Partner institutions provide their candidates

  • March 25: Member scholarship application deadline

  • May 2: Scholarship selections complete



In addition to providing support and funds through Scholarships and STEM Education, The National Space Club of Huntsville celebrates space exploration by honoring organizations and individuals who have helped make this country, this state, and this community so influential and successful in our nation’s space program. 

Dr. Wernher von Braun Space Flight Trophy

The award, now known as the Dr. Wernher von Braun Space Flight Trophy, is given annually to an individual or organization that has made a significant achievement in advancing space flight programs and has contributed to U.S. leadership in the field of rocketry and astronautics. 

Past Winners: Senator Howell Heflin, Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, MG John Zierdt, Jack Lee, Alan Shepard, Dr. Sally Ride, Scott Crossfield, John Glenn, Skylab Team/Lee Belew, Parker Counts/ MSFC External Tank Team, Dan Goldin/ NASA Administrator,  Congressman Bud Cramer, Peter Teets/ Undersecretarty of U.S. Air Force,  Columbia Accident Investigation Board/ Adm Harold Gehman, Alphonso Diaz/ Associate Administrator, William Gerstemmaier, Dr Peter Diamandis, Jay Honeycutt, William Lucas/ MSFC (Retired), Robert Thompson, Jim Odom, Dr. Mike Griffin, General John Hyten, Senator Richard Shelby, Charlie Bolden, Robert Lightfoot, Scott Pace,  Dr. Mae Jemison, Lt. General Tom Stafford, USAF, Dr. Christopher Scolese (2021 honoree)

Distinguished Science Award

This award is presented to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution in research and discovery that expands the knowledge and understanding of space.

Past Winners: Dr. Chrystal Kouveliotou, Steven Squyres, Mars Curiosity Rover Team and LIGO, Dr. Martin Weisskopf, Cassini Team, Mars Exploration Rover, Dr. Jim Green (2020 honoree)

Jack Lee Service Award

Previously known as the Community Service Award. This award is presented to an individual or group possessing an inner kinship with the space program and the community and is active in bringing them closer together.

Past Winners: Walt Wiesman, Milton Cummings, Dr. Philomena Grodzka, Roy Nichols, Jyles Machen, Mayor Loretta Spencer, Michael Ward, Bob Noblitt, BG(R) Robert Drolet, LTG(R) James Link, Ed Buckbee, Larry Capps, William Gurley, Dave Christensen, Joe Ritch, Dorothy & Julian Davidson, David Brock, Terry Abel, Deborah Barnhart, Jim Kirkpatrick, Mayor Tommy Battle, Steve Cook, Dr. Sandra H. Magnus, Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson, Ms. Bennie Jacks (2021 honoree)

Rising Star Award

This award is presented to a young person or team reflecting superior performance in the are of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Astronautics Engineering Award

This award is presented to a scientist or engineer who has made an outstanding contribution to United States leadership in the field of rocketry and astronautics.

Past Winners: Robert Schwinghamer, William McCorkle, Eberhard Rees, Fred Wojtalik, Dave Mobley, Dr. Wayne Littles, Dick Fisher, Owen Garriott, Dr. Shelba Proffitt/PEO Air & Missile Defense, Dr. Martin Weisskopf, Jess Granone, James Kennedy KSC Center Director, Dr. Paul Munafo, Return to Flight, Alan Stern, Gravity Probe-B Team/Geveden, Mara Phoenix Lander Team, Hubble Repair Team/STS 125 Flight Crew, X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, Dawn Spacecraft Development Operations Team, Burt Rutan, Gary Lyles, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, New Horizons Team, George Carruthers, Doug Cooke, Todd May, Brooks Moore, Christina Koch, Perseverance/Ingenuity Team (2021 honoree)

Communications Award

This award is presented to an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to public knowledge and understanding of astronautics and its impact upon our nation and all mankind.

Past Winners: Dave Dooling, Joe Vallely, Paul Hudson, Ed Buckbee, Robert Womack, Ron Howard, John S. Hendricks, Fred Ordway III, Homer Hickman, Lou Dobbs, Miles O'Brien, Lon Raines, William Congo, Robinson Ward, George Lucas, Paula Apsell, John Zarrella, Frank Morring, Jr., Jay Barbree, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chris Hadfield, Alan Boyle, Marcia Smith, Scott Kelly, Dr. Mike Massimino, Hakeem Oluseyi, Brian Berger, Leland Melvin, Johnny F. Stephenson, Jr. (2021 honoree)

Educator of the Year Award

This award is presented to an educator who has made an outstanding contribution in grades K through Twelve in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).


2021 Scholarship & Award Recipients


2021 Dr. Wernher von Braun Endowed Scholarship

Congratulations to Nao Murata from the University of Alabama in Huntsville

Engineering & Science 

  • Chyna Ross, Alabama A&M University

  • Chantelle Williams, Alabama A&M University

  • Tatiana Ayala-De La Matta, Athens State University

  • Rachel Hayes, University of North Alabama

  • Jacob Fennimore, Calhoun Community College

  • Ivan Muriel-Pacheco, Calhoun Community College

  • Joshua Driskill, Drake State Community College to University of Alabama in Huntsville

  • Alexander DiBenio, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Aerospace Technology

  • Elijah Irby, Calhoun Community College

  • Jonathan R. Lovell, Drake State

  • Thomas Prus, Calhoun Community College

Members Scholarship Winners

  • Skyler Huckabee-Jennings, St. Olaf College

  • Thomas Bowman, Auburn University

National Board Certification Sponsorship for Teachers

  • Felitta Johnson, with Huntsville City Schools, Whitesburg Middle School

  • Amanda Kennedy-Meeker with Madison County Schools, Buckhorn Middle School

  •  And Emily Albert- with Madison City Schools, Discovery Middle School

Rising Star Award

Vanezza Rupani

Ms.  Rupani, a recent graduate of Tuscaloosa County High School, submitted the winning essay which named the Mars Perseverance Rover’s helicopter “Ingenuity.” Vanezza graduated at the top of her senior class and is now headed to MIT to study Aerospace Engineering.

Educator of the Year Award

Teri Mitchell

Ms. Mitchell has taught at Challenger Middle School since 2004 and helped pilot the Cyber Security program for the Huntsville City School System. She continues to teach Cyber Security and other technology-based classes in addition to coaching the Cyber Security team and the Green Power team. 

The Jack Lee Service Award

Ms. Bennie Jacks

Bennie is a Madison County native, where she lived with her husband of 42 years before he passed.  She worked for NASA for 45 years and is now a volunteer at the Space and Rocket Center where she helped establish the Emeritus (NASA/Military) Docent Program.   She is a two-time cancer survivor, and a Silver Snoopy award recipient which is presented by an astronaut to recognize outstanding performance and contributions to flight safety and mission success. 

Astronautics Engineering Award

This year’s recipient is the Perseverance/Ingenuity Team! 

This team significantly advanced our nation in the field of astronautics through the design, build, and successful execution of the most innovative and complex Mars surface mission to date.  Integrating an extraterrestrial helicopter with its host rover presented unprecedented challenges. In late March of this year, Perseverance maneuvered into position and placed Ingenuity on the surface to be readied for flight.  On April 19, 2021, Ingenuity successfully took off from the surface to ascend into the Martian atmosphere for 39 seconds, becoming the first powered aircraft to fly on a planet other than Earth. Ingenuity continues its progress alongside Perseverance today, scouting new territories and supporting new discoveries. 

Dr. Werhner von Braun Space Flight Trophy Award

Dr. Christopher Scolese. 


Dr. Scolese has had an admirable career in aerospace beginning as a US Naval Officer in 1978 supporting numerous Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programs.  He then served NASA in multiple capacities, to include the Deputy Associate Administrator in the Office of Space Science overseeing the Space Science Flight Program, mission studies, technology development and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; he was the Deputy Director and Chief Engineer at Goddard Spaceflight Center.  He was later selected as the Acting NASA Administrator leading our nation’s civil space program. He was the Center Director for Goddard Spaceflight Center prior to his current position as the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office.