Status Report

NASA-Ames 2004 Space Settlement Design Contest In Progress

By SpaceRef Editor
February 10, 2004
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The 11th annual Space Settlement Contest, sponsored by the Fundamental Space
Biology Program at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., builds
upon students’ natural fascination with space and space exploration. The
contest challenges students in grades six through 12 to investigate and then
develop designs for a permanent, orbital space colony. The founders of the
contest envision that these students will one day make orbital colonies a

“The Space Settlement Contest is a part of NASA’s educational effort to
inspire the next generation of explorers,” said Al Globus, NASA scientist
and one of the founding members of the competition. “The contest is designed
to spark a student’s interest in math and science and to develop the ideas
and skills that will make orbital colonies a possibility. It is all about
training the people who will one day colonize the solar system.”

For the contest, the Fundamental Space Biology Program created a Web site
that provided students access to a wealth of electronic resources to help
develop their designs. The Web site contains presentations, articles,
images, Web links and research on colonizing space from NASA and other space
settlement experts.

“Students and teachers use this site as a resource in preparing designs that
later will be submitted for evaluation by NASA scientists. The site includes
a comprehensive eight-week course on preparing an orbital settlement design,
complete with objectives aligned with the U.S. National Science Standards,
as well as an online quiz,” said Bryan Yager, coordinator of the Space
Settlement Contest.

The grand prize winners, along with the first-, second- and third-place
winners in the individual and small group categories, will be invited to
visit NASA Ames in June. The students will present their designs, talk to
NASA scientists and tour the fundamental space biology laboratories. All
students participating in the contest received an official Space Settlement
Contest certificate.

The Fundamental Space Biology Program, funded by NASA’s Office of Biological
and Physical Research, investigates fundamental biological processes through
space flight and ground-based research. The program brings together
state-of-the-art science and technology and seeks to answer the most basic
questions regarding the evolution, development and function of living

To view the winning submissions and for more information about the Space
Settlement Contest, visit:

For information about the Fundamental Space Biology Program, visit:

For information about NASA’s Office of Biological and Physical Research

SpaceRef staff editor.