New Space and Tech

NASA Selects Four Universities For 2012 X-Hab Innovation Challenge

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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NASA has selected four universities to design habitat and science concepts that could be used by future deep space explorers. The teams will participate in the second eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge led by NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation.

The teams are from Oklahoma State University; University of Maryland, College Park; Ohio State University; and University of Bridgeport, Conn. The undergraduate students will design, manufacture, assemble and test their concepts and hardware. A panel of engineers and scientists will assess their progress at each stage of the competition. The National Space Grant Foundation will fund the cost of the teams’ design development and their participation in testing next summer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students to get hands-on experience in fields ranging from engineering and science to business management,” said Doug Craig, strategic analysis manager for analog systems at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Last year’s competition proved to be intense, demonstrating the creativity, dedication, and technical excellence of the team members.”

The 2012 X-Hab challenge will look at volume, geometry and habitability of a deep space habitat and technologies for plant growth and geo-science sample handling. The challenge is a participatory exploration effort designed to encourage studies in spaceflight-related engineering and architecture disciplines. NASA is committed to training and developing a highly skilled scientific, engineering and technical workforce for the future.

NASA’s Exploration Mission Directorate, Directorate Integration Office via the Habitat Demonstration Unit Project, is sponsoring the challenge. NASA is dedicated to supporting research that enables sustained and affordable human and robotic exploration. This educational challenge contributes to the agency’s efforts to train and develop a highly skilled scientific, engineering and technical workforce for the future. For more information, visit:

For more information about the Habitation Development Unit Project, visit:

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