(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Space Foundation on Thursday, Jan. 25 selected the James Web Space Telescope team as the recipient of the 2023 John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr. Award for Space Exploration in recognition of their accomplishments.

The James Webb Telescope launched on Dec. 25, 2021. In 2022, the Webb team successfully completed a series of deployments to unfold the observatory into its final configuration in space and began Webb’s mission to explore the infrared universe.

“Within its first year of operations, the work and revelations by the James Webb Space Telescope team opened an entirely new chapter of knowledge and inspiration that will forever change our lives and history,” said Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor.

According to the Space Foundation, the James Webb Telescope, performing twice as well as the mission required, is discovering some of the earliest galaxies ever observed, peering through dusty clouds to see stars forming, and delivering a view of the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system.

Webb has also captured new views of planets within the solar system, including the clearest look at Neptune’s rings in decades.

“The James Webb Space Telescope team represents the best of our humanity and an enduring pursuit to better understand the cosmos. Every new image is a new discovery,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Webb is the culmination of decades of persistence and once-unthinkable human ingenuity made possible by international partnerships. Together, we are unfolding the universe and inspiring the world.”

The award will be presented on Monday, April 17 during the Space Symposium at The Broadmoor. The award is named after John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr. one of the astronauts on the Apollo 13 mission, which was aborted after the rupture of an oxygen tank while en route to the Moon.

In the spirit of the accomplishment by NASA to bring the crew safely back to Earth, the award is presented every year at the Space Symposium by the Space Foundation.