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Left: Keith Gendreau; righ: Zaven Arzoumanian

NICER Principal Investigator Keith Gendreau (left) and Deputy Principal Investigator Zaven Arzoumanian (right)


The top prize in high-energy astrophysics has been awarded to the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) team for the instrument and the revelations it is producing about the physics of neutron stars and their environments.

The High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) awards the Rossi Prize in recognition of significant contributions as well as recent and original work in high-energy astrophysics. 

NICER was launched into space on June 3, 2017, and installed on the International Space Station. It provides high-precision measurements of neutron stars, objects containing ultra-dense matter at the threshold of collapse into black holes.

The 2022 Rossi Prize citation reads: “To Keith Gendreau, Zaven Arzoumanian and the NICER team for development of the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) and the revolutionary insights it is providing about the extreme environments of neutron stars and black holes, including the first precise and reliable measurement of a pulsar’s mass and radius from detailed modeling of its pulsed waveform."

"We're deeply grateful for this recognition, which reflects the efforts of several talented and dedicated teams--scientists and engineers within NASA and partner institutions, the International Space Station program, and many other supporters,” said Zaven Arzoumanian of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md. “All of them helped make NICER a success by adopting Bruno Rossi's spirit of scientific curiosity and technical innovation." 

“NICER has been blessed to have a fantastic team from development through the execution of its science program,” said Keith Gendreau also of GSFC. “We are deeply honored by this award and are so fortunate to have had such a great team.” 

The prize is in honor of Professor Bruno Rossi, an authority on cosmic ray physics and a pioneer in the field of X-ray astronomy. The Rossi Prize includes an engraved certificate and a $1,500 award and a lecture given at an upcoming AAS meeting.

Additional information on the Rossi Prize, including previous winners, can be found at:

Media Contact: Megan Watzke, HEAD Press Officer,, 617-496-7998