Space Settlement Contest

NSS Gerard K. O’Neill Space Settlement Contest

This annual contest is for all students at up to 12th grade from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six to twelve are judged separately. The contest was originally run by NASA Ames Research Center from 1994-2018, jointly sponsored by NSS for several years, and is now run exclusively by NSS.

Students are not given any requirements other than the project must focus on a free space settlement concept. Settlements may not be on a planet or moon, although support activities such as mining may be. Settlements must be permanent homes, not temporary work camps. Submissions may focus on one or a few aspects of space settlement and supporting systems,
including mines, activities leading up to settlement (such as space hotels), economic and social issues, etc.

Students who participate in the contest are invited to attend the annual ISDC. Students attending ISDC have opportunities to be actively involved in the conference, including presenting a poster of their concept, giving a short talk on their design in the middle of breakout sessions, and attending special plenary sessions tailored specifically for students. The Grand Prize award will be presented to the winning team at the Saturday dinner. Students from all over the world congregate to share and discuss ideas.

Contest student teams are selected to give poster presentations at the student poster sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Students will be asked to spend two hours (1:30 – 3:30 pm) at their poster to discuss details of their project with attendees.

For the 2022 contest there were over 17,000 students and 3076 total entries from 22 different countries around the world. In 2019 over 400 contest students from 9 different countries attended ISDC.

For more information about the contest please visit: