Space Settlement graphic, torus Space Settlement logo man reaching for the stars NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest


Co-Sponsored by the National Space Society

News

Watch this space for contest news. Note the following:

Contest

This annual contest is for all students at up to 12th grade from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six to twelve are judged separately. Entries are also grouped by age/grade of the oldest contestant for judging. The age groups are 6th and younger, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. The grand prize is awarded to the best entry regardless of contestant age. Students develop space settlement designs and related materials. These are sent to NASA Ames for judgement. Submissions must be received by February 15. Check out the results of the 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 contests.

Contest deadline, prizes and certificates:

Here are some of the grand prize entries from previous years:

Rules

Plagiarism

You may use other people's ideas in your entry, but not other people's writing. You may use images from the web, but please credit the source. In recent years plagiarism, copying other people's writing rather than doing your own, has become a serious problem. Every year up to 30% of all entries are caught copying materials from the web. They are eliminated from the competition. To avoid plagiarism, we recommend that you In other words: always write it yourself. Note that copying material and changing a few words here and there is also plagiarism. Write your own material!

We expect teachers to check every project from their students for plagiarism and not permit entries with plagiarism to be sent to NASA. To check for plagiarism look for places where the English is very good and/or is a different style from the rest of the project. Use Google (or other search engine) by surrounding 6-8 suspect words with double quotes, for example "text I think might be plagiarised by someone." If there is a perfect match, then look at the source material to make sure there wasn't an accidental match. Most of the time it will be plagiarism and must be removed from the project. There are also some automated plagiarism detectors available on the web. Consider using them. Please do not send us plagiarized material!

Plagiarism is particularly sad for teams when one team member plagiarizes and the others are ethical. For teams, we recommend that students check each other for plagiarism.

Resources and Tips

Submission

If all goes well, the next contest will be all electronic. Stay tuned for details.

Discussion

Space settlements are permanent communities in orbit, as opposed to living on the Moon or other planets. The work of Princeton physicist Dr. O'Neill and others have shown that such colonies are technically feasible, although expensive. Settlers of this high frontier are expected to live inside large air-tight rotating structures holding hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people along with the animals, plants, and single celled organisms vital to comfort and survival. There are many advantages to living in orbit: zero-g recreation, environmental independence, plentiful solar energy, and terrific views to name a few. There is plenty of room for everyone who wants to go; the materials from a single asteroid can build space colonies with living space equal to about 500 times the surface area of the Earth.

Why should settlements be in orbit? Mars and our Moon have a surface gravity far below Earth normal. Children raised in low-g will not develop bones and muscles strong enough to visit Earth comfortably. In contrast, orbital colonies can be rotated to provide Earth normal pseudo-gravity in the main living areas.

We hope teachers will make this contest part of their lesson plan. While designing a space colony, students will have a chance to study physics, mathematics, space science, environmental science, and many other disciplines. We would like students outside the science classes to participate as well. Thus, contest submissions may include designs, essays, stories, models, and artwork. Students can design entire colonies or focus on one aspect of orbital living. A class or school may submit a joint project where small teams tackle different areas in a coordinated fashion. For example, consider a cross curriculum project where science classes design the basic structure and support systems, art students create pictures of the interior and exterior, English students write related short stories, social studies students develop government and social systems, Industrial Technology builds a scale model, and the football team proposes low-g sports.

We are soliciting testimonials of experiences with this contest. If you have something to say about your experience with this contest, send an email to [email protected]. Do not use this email for general inquiries, testimonials only! Selected testimonials will be posted on the NSS web site and/or used in a scientific paper on the contest. Accepted testimonials may be edited for English and clarity.

Other Space Settlement Contests

Continuing Education

Colleges and Universities offering space science astronautics programs.

NASA Academy A National educational, training, and research resource for college undergraduate and graduate students, dedicated to promoting current and future opportunities for innovation and leadership in aerospace-related careers.

The space settlement home page.

Additional Space Settlement sites include: Author: Al Globus


Curator: Al Globus
NASA Responsible Official: Dr. Ruth Globus
If you find any errors on this page contact Al Globus.
Space Settlement hompage

This mirror of the NASA Ames Research Center Space Settlement web site is provided by:

National Space Society