Welcome to the Mars Settlement Competition! We are looking for forward-thinking, creative students to develop and design a realistic settlement that would allow humans to survive on Mars long-term.
The Theoretical Space Case
NASA wants to establish a settlement of at least 250 people to live and work on Mars. They are looking for a strategy and blueprint to transport and establish a permanent space settlement on the red planet.
First, they need some key questions answered (address each somewhere in proposal):
- How can 250+ people be transported to Mars?
- Who gets to go to Mars and what are the ideal qualifications?
- How much total mass will be transported to Mars?
- What will be the design of the transport ship to Mars?
- What would a safe, long-term Mars settlement look like?
MUST Include in Proposal
- Written strategy and plan for journey and settlement design
- Include descriptions, blueprints, pictures/sketches, data, and cost considerations
- Rationale for all decisions
- Explain why certain decisions were made, and how they are feasible
- Basic sketches
- Your own designs for transport ships, Mars base layout, specific designs
Competitors are required to form teams of 1-4 students, and must sign up (above) before April 1. The final written proposals and presentations can be sent to email@example.com and everything is DUE BY 11:59pm on Friday, April 8. Teams will be able to sign up for presentation slots via email or in person through a member of the SEDS E-Board. The design presentations will be held on April 9 and 10 – each presentation should be 10-20 minutes in length.
Each member of the winning team will receive a Falcon 9 model rocket generously donated by SpaceX, and the opportunity to present their work in front of a leading member of the spaceflight community (to be announced).
- Assume that the technical challenge of moving from Low Mars Orbit (LMO) to the Martian surface is not insurmountable, but you are advised to choose a strategy to accomplish this.
- Assume cost is NOT an issue, however you should include rough estimates and try to be as cost effective as possible.
Fundamentals to Include (REQUIRED):
- Earth’s Surface → Low-Earth Orbit (LEO)
- LEO → Low Mars Orbit (LMO)
- LMO → Martian Surface (brief description – no need to develop new technology)
- Form of transportation on Martian surface
- MUST INCLUDE both design and propulsion for transport vehicles
- Location of Settlement on Mars – include reasoning for location chosen
- Governing Body/Leadership Structure (for population on Mars)
- Mars Base Demographic – include types of specialists + number of each
- Life Support Systems – include spacesuit and structural protection from high radiation
- Power/Energy Source – describe how source will be replenished
- Hygiene/Sanitation – include brief waste disposal process
- Living Arrangements – include beds, recreation, common areas
- Food/Water/Nutrition – include sources of replenishment, eating areas
- Communications system – include local comms for Mars and interplanetary with Earth
- Name your Mission to Mars AND your Colony – be creative
Additional Factors you may Include (OPTIONAL):
- Research Labs – on/off main base, what they study, how many
- Mining/Extraction – research resources/minerals that can be procured on Mars
- Agriculture/Horticulture – research feasibility of growing food on Mars
- Manufacturing/Fabrication – what can be sustainably created on Mars
- Construction – research feasibility of establishing permanent structures on Mars
- Terraforming – research feasibility/impact of transforming atmosphere/ground on Mars
- Meets Fundamentals
- Feasibility and Risk Mitigation
- Appropriate Detail
- Thorough Research
Resources – click here to visit our resources page
***Teams are strongly encouraged to reference research materials, but those sources MUST BE CITED in the final proposal – Plagiarism will immediately disqualify a team***
Questions? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org