NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest for School Students: Prizes Worth Rs. 2 Lakhs: Submit by Feb 15, 2018: Expired

NASA ames space settlement 2018
This annual contest, co-operated by NASA Ames Research Center, San Jose State University, and the National Space Society (NSS) is for all students up to 12th grade (18 years old) from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six or more are judged separately.
Entries are also grouped by age/grade of the oldest contestant for judging. The age groups are 7th and under, 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.

  • Contest categories are
    • 7th grade and under: individual, small group, large group,
    • 8th grade: individual, small group, large group,
    • 9th grade: individual, small group, large group,
    • 10th grade: individual, small group, large group,
    • 11th grade: individual, small group, large group,
    • 12th grade: individual, small group, large group.

    Additional categories based on artistic and literary merit are also included in the contest.

Deadline: All submissions must be received by February 15, 2018.

  • A NASA certificate will be sent to all winners. By default we send paper certificates to the address on the entry form. You can opt to receive your certificates as pdfs sent to your email address, which is much faster and more reliable. There is a check box on the entry form to request a pdf.
  • Participant certificates will be distributed in pdf from this web page on the honor system.
  • The best submission, regardless of category, wins the grand prize, consisting of the space settlement submission being placed on the NASA Ames World Wide Web site.
  • The National Space Society (NSS) invites all 2018 contest participants to attend the NSS 37th annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Los Angeles, USA May 24-27, 2018. Every year, hundreds of contestants attend, along with their parents, teachers, siblings and friends. Special activities for contestants are planned, including:
    • If the Grand Prize winner(s) come(s) to ISDC, they will receive the $3,000 NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award. If a team wins, the funds will be evenly divided amongst them. Reminder: the Grand Prize winner must attend ISDC to receive this award.
    • The highest ranking winners attending will be invited to give oral presentations as time is available.
    • To the extent space is available, all contestants who attend will be invited to display a poster of their work.
    • Special sessions are arranged for contestants, teachers, parents, etc.

    These activities are not yet finalized and may change. Nonetheless, this is a tremendous opportunity to present your work, meet some of the most important people in space development as well as your fellow contestants, and have a great time.


  • Submissions must relate to orbital settlements. Settlements may not be on a planet or moon. Settlements must be permanent homes, not temporary work camps. Submissions may focus on one or a few aspects of space settlement and supporting systems, including mines, activities leading up to settlement (such as space hotels), economic and social issues, etc.
  • Designs, original research, essays, stories, models, artwork or any other orbital space settlement related materials may be submitted.
  • Submissions must be made in hard copy. No electronic submissions are accepted under any circumstances. This includes Power Point presentations, discs, CD’s, DVD, videos or anything but paper. NASA does not return contestant submissions. However, you may create an electronic project, such as a video or web site, and send us a hard copy description of the project. The description should include images and text to describe the project in sufficient detail for judgement. If your electronic project is web accessible, you may include the URL. It will not be used for judging, but NASA may, at its discretion, link to your project from the contest results page.
  • Two copies of the entry form with the appropriate information must be included with the submission; one firmly attached to the submission and one loosely attached (for example, with a paper clip). Be sure to fill out all fields. Please type if at all possible. Use a separate sheet if necessary.
  • The submission must be the student’s own work. Plagiarism is forbidden. No part of an entry may copied with one exception: You may quote short passages, but only if the material is surrounded in double quotes (“) and the source indicated. For example: “This material copied from somewhere,” My Favorite Space Book. Quoted materials should rarely be more than a few lines, and never longer than a few paragraphs. Quoting long passages is forbidden. Entries caught plagiarizing, even one part of a large entry, will be disqualified and disposed of.
  • Instructors, mentors or parents may assist the student by presenting relevant resources, discussing core concepts and minor editing, but the work itself must be entirely student driven.
  • Always include a bibliography.
  • Submissions are not returned. Keep a copy for yourself.
  • All decisions by the judges are final.
  • Avoid excessively long entries. The judges will be instructed to prefer projects with less than 100 pages over longer ones. That said, 100 pages is not a hard limit. If you need more than 100 pages to express your ideas, then use as many pages as you need.
  • If your entry is longer than 5-10 pages, consider including a one page executive summary on the best features of your entry. Be sure to include original ideas, major focus, and any parts particularly well done in the executive summary. This will help the judges find the best parts of your entry.
  • Avoid including material not directly related to your space settlement or settlement related issue. This is a space settlement contest and marginally related material will make it difficult for the judges. If they can’t find your space settlement elements easily you won’t score well.

Send a hard copy of your entry and two hard copies of a filled out entry form (one firmly attached to your entry and the other loosely attached, perhaps with a paper clip) to:
NASA Ames Research Center
Al Globus/Mail Stop 262-4 or
Lauren Claudatos/Mail Stop 262-4
Bldg. 262, Rm. 269
Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001

If your courier service needs a street address, use ‘Allen Rd’.
NOTE: we do not send verification that entries have been received. Please don’t ask for one. If you want to know if the entry has arrived, use a service that requires a signature.
Teachers using the contest in their class should submit all projects together. Note: electronic submission is not allowed, only hard copy.

For more information on the competition, click here.

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