University and college students are being given an opportunity to design a deep space habitat.
NASA’s Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge is taking applications for the 2013 challenge to design, manufacture, assemble and test deep space habitats. Students will cooperatively work on solutions for the needs of astronauts who will live and work outside Earth.
The X-Hab challenge goal is to provide a real-world challenge while engaging and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through exposure to engineering and design processes.
The project choices for the challenge include photovoltaic solar arrays, a human-robotic workstation and a telepresence and holodeck conceptual system.
Alvin Drew, NASA astronaut and habitat systems project manager at Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a press release, “Students will play a vital role in our critical early system planning and development. Thier design could become the basis for the concepts and technologies that will make up the habitat we eventually send to space.”
The National Space Grant Foundation is running the challenge for the deep space habitat project team at Johnson. The project is part of NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Program.
Winners will recieve between $10,000 and $49,000 to produce their functional products, based upon their own designs.
Proposals are due in by May 2, 2012 and awardees should have their product delivered to Johnson in May or June 2013.
More information on the X-Hab Challenge can be seen at http://go.nasa.gov/x-hab
For solicitation, project list and a timeline for the challenge, go to http://spacegrant.org/xhab
attribution: NASA press release 12-087