2024 Astronaut Rock Star Award Winners Announced For National Astronaut Day This Sunday, May 5 | Shore Fire Media

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3 May, 2024Print

2024 Astronaut Rock Star Award Winners Announced For National Astronaut Day This Sunday, May 5

Including Astronaut Alan Shepard (1st American In Space)

Presented To Daughter Laura Shepard-Churchley By Astronaut Wendy Lawrence


Astronaut Jack D. Fischer & “Odie” (1st Private Company Lunar Landing)

Presented By Multi-Platinum Selling Band O.A.R.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Students & More


Astronaut Alan Shepard 

May 5, 1961 (Credit: NASA)

Multi-Platinum Selling Band O.A.R.

May 3, 2024 – Today, uniphi space agency, a division of women-owned + led uniphigood, LLC, announced the five winners of the first annual Astronaut Rock Star Awards. The inaugural awards launch in conjunction with National Astronaut Day this Sunday, May 5, an annual event honoring Astronauts for their accomplishments and commemorating the date Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. became the first American in space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule on May 5, 1961. Celebrations are encouraged by thanking all Astronauts online with hashtags #WeBelieveInAstronauts, #NationalAstronautDay and #AstronautDay.


The Astronaut Rock Star Awards honor the intersection of space exploration, STEM/STEAM education, and the enduring connection between Astronauts and music, taking inspiration from Earth & Space collaborations of artists like Barenaked LadiesEddie Vedder, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Post Malone, Coldplay, Garth Brooks, Kraftwerk, BLKBOK, Peter Gabriel, and exemplified by the iconic Voyager Golden Record, the Chandra X-Ray “Sonification” Project & beyond.


The 2024 Astronaut Rock Star Award winners are:

2024 Astronaut Rock Star Award - Diamond Award 

Honoring legacy Astronauts, presented by Astronauts


Pioneering late Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., the first American in space, whose historical, early mission on the Freedom 7 space capsule in 1961 paved the way for future explorations - presented to his daughter, Laura Shepard-Churchley, by Astronaut Wendy Lawrence

Date & location to be announced.


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 Laura Shepard-Churchley (Credit: Blue Origin)   

           Astronaut Wendy Lawrence (Credit NASA)

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence noted: In 1961, I was not old enough to remember Alan Shepard's historic launch on May 5th, but as I grew up I heard Alan Shepard's name... a lot. My Dad, as a young Navy pilot, was Alan Shepard's wingman and they became very close friends. I feel very privileged and honored to have followed in Alan Shepard's footsteps... as a Naval Academy Graduate, a Navy pilot and as a NASA Astronaut. I am looking forward to seeing Laura Shepard-Churchley this year when we present the award, and look forward to honoring the trailblazing legacy of her father, Alan Shepard”.


2024 Astronaut Rock Star Award - Platinum Award

Honoring Astronauts, presented by Rock Stars


Former NASA Astronaut and Intuitive Machines executive Col. Jack D. Fischer, who oversaw the Odysseus (“Odie”) lunar landing this year as part of the IM-1 mission in 2024.The IM-1 mission successfully landed the first spacecraft on the Moon's south pole region, marking the United States' first return since Apollo 17, as well as, the first private lunar lander on the Moon. Fischer’s award will be presented by rock greats O.A.R. at their Boston, MA show at Leader Bank Pavilion on July 20th, 2024 - in sync with the actual iconic “Moon Landing” date from the Apollo 11 Mission in 1969, the first time a human walked on the Moon.


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Astronaut Jack Fischer (Credit: Intuitive Machines / NASA)

Astronaut & IM VP Jack D. Fischer said: “This has been such a fantastic year and it's so cool to be recognized for contributing to space exploration. I may be the Astronaut at IM, but putting Odie on the Moon was a team effort. America hasn't been to the Moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972 and every single person who works at Intuitive Machines put their blood, sweat, and tears into making this lunar landing a reality. We're just a small private company of dreamers who worked hard to achieve something incredible…and this is just the beginning.”


2024 Astronaut Rock Star Award - Gold Awards 

Awarded to students, individuals or groups working to advance STEM/STEAM education,

with an emphasis on Space.


Yuridia Sanchez, a senior at Nogales High School (Nogales, AZ) and space-obsessed STEM-ist who recalls waking at the crack of dawn to observe rocket launches.


Sophia Crowder, an 18-year-old STEMflights aviation scholar, founder of the girl-empowering initiative ITGirls and hopes to be an innovator for the space program.


The Stellar Dreams Program, an initiative of The Science Haven, working to promote interest in Astronomy among underrepresented student populations by providing 100 telescopes for 100 families across the U.S.A. 


Gold Awards will be presented by Maynard Okereke aka The Hip Hop MD and uniphi space agency VP Michelle Lucas. Dates & location to be announced.

Sophia Crowder

(Photo: Higher Orbits)         


Yuridia “Yuri” Sanchez

(Photo: Higher Orbits) 


Ronald Gamble, Ph.D, & Raven Baxter, Ph.D.

(Photo: Stellar Dreams/The Science Haven)


The awards themselves take the form of traditional music plaques with Space themes, reminiscent of the iconic Moonman awarded by MTV for music videos. With the Astronaut Rock Star Awards as part of National Astronaut Day, uniphigood, aims to honor and celebrate those who embody the spirit of exploration and discovery, inspiring others to reach for the stars.


O.A.R. bassist Benj Gershman said: “It is an absolute privilege to partner with the Astronaut Rock Star Awards to show our respect, admiration and appreciation for these heroes! They are connecting us with the cosmos in new ways more often than ever, and our fascination with their work is as immense as their contributions to science, technology, education and humanity.”

uniphi Founder, President & CEO Annie Balliro said, “This year, we are thrilled to launch the inaugural Astronaut Rock Star Awards, a new cornerstone for National Astronaut Day moving forward. We always knew things would evolve once the day (May 5) had taken on a life of its own, and this is such an organic extension of how National Astronaut Day has been celebrated in the past. Since the very first National Astronaut Day, music has been a key part of the way we honor and celebrate Astronauts, and we are so grateful to have our friends, the incredible O.A.R., on this journey with us to kick things off and help give the Platinum Award as part of their 2024 Summer Tour. The fact that it’s actually on such an iconic date (July 20) and their tour art is an Astronaut it’s meant to be!”


National Astronaut Day also features a book signing with Astronaut Clayton Anderson at Barnes & Noble in Lincoln, Nebraska (1pm at Lincoln South Point). Anderson is the author of inspiring and informative books for young people, including A is for Astronaut, Letters from Space, and The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut.

About uniphigood, LLC (uniphi):

uniphi good, LLC is a woman-owned+led company founded in 2009 by Annie Balliro, who serves as President & CEO. Through its uniphi space agency division, the company is a “one-stop” management agency for booking 100+ world-class Astronauts Speakers for Speaking Engagements, Private Events, Endorsements, Personal Appearances, Corporate Events, Conventions, Seminars, Conferences, Collaborations and Fundraisers. uniphi’s philosophy is based on an ideal of selfless (u), universal (ni), philanthropy (phi), and the premise that if each individual’s actions were based on an idea to help only others, the amount of goodwill and support that would inherently benefit each one of us would be far greater as a whole. For more information please visit NationalAstronautDay.com.


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About O.A.R.:

O.A.R. might just be music’s biggest, best kept secret. The platinum-certified Rockville, MD band has quietly sold out Madison Square Garden twice, filled Red Rocks Amphitheater a dozen times, earned platinum and gold plaques, lit up the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration, and built one of the most committed fanbases in the world. The group—Marc Roberge [lead vocals, guitar], Richard On [lead guitar, backing vocals], Chris Culos [drums], Benj Gershman [bass], and Jerry DePizzo [saxophone, guitar, backing vocals] accompanied by Mikel Paris [keys, backing vocals, percussion], and Jon Lampley [trumpet, backing vocals]—have entered a new chapter as a band by releasing their 10th studio album The Arcade and will be embarking on a headlining US tour this Summer with special guests Fitz and the Tantrums.


For more information, please contact Shore Fire Media:
Rebecca Shapiro (rshapiro@shorefire.com)
Shannon Cosgrove (scosgrove@shorefire.com)