The National Space Society (NSS) invites students worldwide up to 12th grade (18 years old) to prepare for the 2022 edition of the annual Space Settlement Contest.
Submissions must relate to free space settlements. Settlements may not be on a planet or moon, although support activities such as mining may be. 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.
The National Space Society (NSS) invites all 2022 contest participants to the NSS 2022 International Space Development Conference (ISDC).
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.
Students can design entire colonies or focus on one aspect of orbital living.
The best submission, regardless of category, wins the grand prize, consisting of the space settlement submission being placed on the contest’s website.
All participants will receive a certificate. The best submission will be placed on the contest’s official website.
The contest will officially open for entries in December 2021.
The National Space Society Settlement Contest has been sponsored by NASA Ames Research Center from 1994-2018, for many of those years in conjunction with the National Space Society (NSS). In 2019 sponsorship was fully transferred to the National Space Society.
Please visit the official website for more details on the contest theme.
National Space Society Settlement Contest 2022 – Registration Fee
The registration fee is $15 and can be waived in hardship cases.