Status Report

New From NASA: “Name That Habitat” Contest and “2008-09 Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design” Contest

By SpaceRef Editor
October 30, 2008
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NASA and the Challenger Center Announce Habitat Naming Contest

NASA and the Challenger Center for Space Education have partnered to engage students in ongoing activities for one of NASA’s concepts for astronaut housing on the moon through a contest to name a habitat in Antarctica. NASA currently is conducting a test of a lightweight, durable, inflatable habitat on the cold, harsh landscape of the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station.

The Challenger Center is organizing and conducting the “Name That Habitat” competition for students in grades 6-10. The Challenger Center will recruit subject matter experts to serve as judges for the contest and will provide prizes and other items for the winner and participants. The winning name will be selected later this year and announced by scientists in Antarctica in January 2009. Student, teachers and the public will be able to follow the progress of the inflatable habitat activities throughout the project.

The habitat was funded through NASA’s Innovative Partnership Program’s Seed Fund initiative, with in-kind resource contributions by the National Science Foundation and ILC Dover of Frederica, Del., the manufacturer of the structure. An inflatable habitat is one of several concepts being considered for astronaut housing on the moon.

The structure looks somewhat like an inflatable backyard “bounce house” for children, but it is far more sophisticated. It is insulated, heated and pressurized, and has power. It offers 384 square feet of living space and has, at its highest point, an 8-foot ceiling. During the test period, sensors will allow engineers to monitor the habitat’s performance.

The contest helps NASA fulfill its mission to promote an interest in NASA missions. The contest, for example, asks students to nominate a name that has not been used in previous NASA missions, spacecraft, ships, or robotics, which they can only do successfully by conducting some research.

The Challenger Center is an international, nonprofit educational organization founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts lost during the last flight of the space shuttle Challenger. The goal of the organization is to foster student interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The deadline for entries for the contest is Nov. 20, 2008.

For more information about entering the Name That Habitat contest, visit .

2008-09 Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest

NASA invites high school and college students from the arts, including industrial design, architecture, computer design and the fine arts, to submit their work on the theme “Life and Work on the Moon.” Artists are encouraged to collaborate with science and engineering students. Such collaboration is not required but would help to ensure that the art is valid for the moon’s harsh environment.

Entries will be accepted in three categories: two-dimensional, three-dimensional and digital, including video. Entries will be evaluated not only on their artistic qualities, but also on whether they depict a valid scenario.

Prizes include awards and exhibit opportunities. International students are encouraged to participate, but they are not eligible for cash prizes or student internships.

Entries are due no later than March 15, 2009.

For more information about the contest and to register online, visit Questions about the contest should be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Ward at .

SpaceRef staff editor.