Healthy Space Competition Rules

“Live in a Healthy Space” Design Competition: Rules


The entry must include the following sections:

1)  Executive Summary

The Executive Summary appears first but is usually written last. It contains the most important information and highlights unique and original ideas, the project’s major focus, and anything particularly well developed. This will help the judges find the best parts of your entry.

Maximum length of the Executive Summary should be 1-page, double-spaced with1-inch (2.5 cm) margins all around (top, bottom, and sides). For this project, it should also specify the following:

  • Settlement Type: module or area within settlement
  • Settlement Location: in space or on another world
  • Agriculture Area Size
  • Number of people to be supported
  • Indicate a time frame associated with your settlement from when the settlement was established. (Example: 1, 5, 10 years or longer). This time frame is important because it helps the judges better understand how well established the ecosystem environment is expected to thrive.
  • Please make a statement as to whether generative AI was or was not used in any part of the submission. (Example: Generative AI was not used in this entry.)

2) Main Paper:

  • See also the Competition Guidelines.
  • Paper Maximum Length:  10 pages, double spaced
  • Top, bottom, and side margins:  1 in (2.5 cm)
  • Font:  11-point or above. Any standard font style such as Ariel, Calibri, or Sans Serif are acceptable. Avoid Times New Roman.
  • Contestants may use all or part of their Live in a Healthy Space entry for their NSS O’Neill Space Settlement Contest entry. NOTE:  While the Live in a Healthy Space proposal may be located anywhere, only those proposals that are part of an orbiting space settlement and follow O’Neill Contest rules can be submitted to the O’Neill Contest.
  • Plagiarism is prohibited. Please see terms and conditions associated with usage of work, text, or images created by others in the labeled section below.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated text or images must follow the guidelines expressed in the labeled section below.

3) Appendices (Optional): 

  • Maximum Length: 5 pages total.
  • May include drawings, tables, graphics or other information relevant to your topic such as links to recipes or 3D printing files for tools.

4) Bibliography



1. Plagiarism of text

You may use other people’s ideas in your entry, but not other people’s writing. In recent years plagiarism, copying other people’s writing rather than doing your own, has become a serious problem. Every year up to 50% of all entries are caught copying materials from the web. They are eliminated from the competition. To avoid plagiarism, we recommend that you:

  • Never use copy/paste for any text in your project.
  • Never write your project while looking at anybody else’s text.
  • Never memorize a passage and type it into your project.

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!

Teachers and mentors are expected to check every project from their students for plagiarism and not permit entries with plagiarism to be submitted to the contest. 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 plagiarized 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.

2. Plagiarism of images

It is best to create your own images. If you must use someone else’s image be sure to give image credit (for example, Credit: NASA) and respect the copyright, if any, and licenses that may be involved. Consider using images with licenses from Free Stock Photos websites or Creative Commons.

The artwork for this competition does not need to be professional-looking. The concept is more important than the beauty of the artwork. Line drawings, sketches, and drawings done by hand are much more useful to the judges than something that is pretty.

If you choose to use NASA images, please adhere to NASA’s guidelines for image use: “NASA content used in a factual manner that does not imply endorsement may be used without needing explicit permission. NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material. NASA occasionally uses copyright-protected material of third parties with permission on its website. Those images will be marked identified as copyright protected with the name of the copyright holder. NASA’s use does not convey any rights to others to use the same material. Those wishing to use copyright protected material of third parties must contact the copyright holder directly.”

Additionally, note that the NASA logo may NOT be used without explicit permission. For further information on NASA’s image use policies, refer to the following link:


Use of artificial intelligence (AI) is permitted provided that the following information be documented. The best format for this type of documentation is either in a footnote or in an Appendix as an Endnote. Please provide:

  • Names of all AI tools that were used
  • Purpose of AI usage
  • Description of prompts that were used
  • Names of AI users
  • Describe whether information generated by AI was validated or not  and is so, how it was validated

If AI was not used in creation of any part of the submission, please make a statement to that fact in the Executive Summary.


Send any questions associated with this competition to [email protected].