Today the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space mourn the passing of one of our greatest leaders and alumni, Darrell Cain, after a long fight with cancer. As an MIT SEDS leader, Todd B. Hawley Leadership Award recipient, former SEDS USA Executive Board member, and most importantly a friend, Darrell will be missed by all.

No words could even begin to describe the impact Darrell had on this world. His enthusiasm for life and passion for space influenced countless students and professionals during his 27 years. Darrell was one of the most intelligent people you could meet and put 110% into everything that he did.

Former SEDS USA Chairman Joshua Nelson said, “Darrell was the glue that held us all together. He was the reason people came to meetings, solved their differences, and made each and every one of us know we were part of something special.”

Darrell began his experience in SEDS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and served as a leader of his chapter throughout his tenure. His efforts with his chapter were vital to the successful re-establishment of the the national organization, the MIT chapter, and the SpaceVision national conferences. He was elected to the position on the board as Director of Chapter Affairs, where he served for a year, re-invigorating the chapters and serving as a catalyst for building new ideas and programs across the country. He continued his work at Stanford University, influencing even more students there.  True to Darrell’s form, even sickness couldn’t prevent him from being actively involved, attending conferences, participating in SEDS-USA discussions and impacting the organization until the very end.

In honor of Darrell’s service and commitment to the next frontier, today we are establishing the Darrell Cain Award of Excellence. This award will honor Darrell, who was able to impact many through his efforts and inspire others to pursue the cause of space exploration. In keeping with Darrell’s efforts, this award will be given each year in memory to an individual whose efforts have served to inspire students to be involved and promote our goal of becoming a spacefaring civilization.

SEDS would like to extend our condolences to the Cain family and offer our support in this time of mourning.


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  2. Darrell W Cain August 2, 2012 at 8:42 am


    Please feel free to gain more information about Darrell David Cain at

    We are honored that you would establish an award in his name and we at an appropriate time would like to participate in such a process. We will miss him dearly and we are proud that you his peers would recognize him.

    Darrell W Cain (DAD)

  3. Charles R. Hall August 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm


    To: Darrell, Sandi and Family

    My sincere condolences to all of you in the loss of such a remarkable son and brother. No doubt he lived his last few years gallantly fighting and living life to the fullest.
    My thoughts and prayers are with each of you. Charlie

  4. Charles R. Hall August 2, 2012 at 6:37 pm


    To: Darrell, Sandi and Family

    My sincere condolences to each of you in the untimely loss of a great son and brother. No doubt he gallantly fought a tremendous battle the past few years. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you. Charlie

  5. Lisa Davidson August 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm


    How does one denote that a donation is made in Honor of Darrell David Cain?

    • SEDS Chair August 6, 2012 at 11:19 am


      Thank you for your interest. We’ve just recently updated our donate site to be able to accommodate the donation. Please let us know if you have any problems.

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