New Space and Tech

eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Competition

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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The National Space Grant Foundation is pleased to announce the X-Hab Academic Innovation Competition. The challenge is for a senior- and graduate-level design course in which students will design, manufacture, assemble and test an inflatable loft that will be integrated onto an existing NASA-built operational hard-shell prototype.

In June of 2011, the NASA-Habitat Demonstration Unit Project will conduct a head-to-head competition for successfully designing and demonstrating an attachable inflatable habitat “Loft” concept, given a list of requirements for the design. Universities may collaborate together on a Project Team. Up to three project teams will be selected for funding. The head-to-head competition will determine the winner that will be awarded additional funds to integrate their design with the HDU-Lab during the August-September 2011 HDU-Hab/Lab integrated field testing.
The Foundation anticipates that up to three awards will be made under this solicitation for $48,000 each. Up to an additional $10,000 will be awarded to the team that wins the head-to head competition to offset their costs of participating in the HDU-Hab/Lab integrated field testing.

Proposals will be accepted from engineering faculty who are U.S. citizens and currently teach an ABET-accredited engineering senior or graduate design, industrial design, or architecture curriculum teaming at a U.S.- accredited university.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and other minority serving educational institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals from women, members of under-represented minorities groups, and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged. Proposals are due Aug. 20, 2010.

For more information about the challenge, visit
If you have any questions about the X-Hab Challenge, please e-mail”

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.