Space Settlement Design Tournament
How do you build a lunar mining settlement?
What does it take to build an outpost on Mars? If these questions interest you, you might be interested in a one-of-a-kind experience available now to high school students in South Texas.
The Space Settlement Design Tournament invites high school students to learn the nitty-gritty of conceptualizing, planning, and pitching plans for future space exploration. The tournament, modeled on and developed in conjunction with the internationally famous Space Settlement Design Contest, offers students unique insight and expertise into one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, commercial space. It is the only sanctioned tournament of its kind in South Texas.
How It Works
Participating students are divided into four teams, each of which is led by a working professional in the space industry who serves as “CEO.” The teams collaborate to develop business plans for companies as though they were competing for a space settlement contract. Over three days, each team works furiously to prepare detailed proposals, which they present to a panel of judges, including current and former NASA executives involved with the agency’s engineering and technology transfer operations. The judges then select the winning proposal.
About the Facilitators
Anita Gale is a Senior Project Engineer in Space Shuttle Payload & Cargo Integration for The Boeing Company in Houston. In her career she has worked on the Space Shuttle, providing conceptual designs for cargo integration on future launch vehicles, R&D for Shuttle upgrades and future missions of both reusable and expendable launch vehicles, and process improvements. She holds three US patents on launch vehicle payload interface standardization and containerization, which are essential technologies for reducing future vehicle processing costs and schedules. In 1984, Anita co-founded Space Settlement Design Competition, an industry simulation that engages high school students in designing future space settlements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Participants get randomly placed on teams, so in all likelihood you won’t be only with students from your school.
The settlement must be built according to the RFP specifications based on the type of facility required for that year’s competition. During the creation stage, a Pink and or Red Team advisory group will review a presentation as it is presented to them and ask questions and give advice. The students then get to work on these suggestions in order to better complete their proposal. This can be a two-part process, where the group meets with the Pink Team group on day one and with the Red Team on day two. On the final day, teams present their proposal to the judges. The team with the most creative and complete proposal which sticks to the RFP is generally the winner. The judging also is dependent on other specifics, such as turning in the proposal on time and sticking within the maximum number of slides allowed. The actual way a team presents the proposal may be taken into account and may even be the deciding factor.