NSS and NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest

NASA Ames Research Center in conjunction with the National Space Society sponsors an annual space settlement design contest for 6-12th-grade students. Each spring students send their designs for homes in space for judging by NASA engineers and scientists. The contest has inspired thousands of students and helped hundreds of teachers bring the excitement of space settlement to the youth of America and the world. The single highest scoring team or individual attending will receive the $3,000 NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award.

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, educational, grassroots, a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. NSS mission is to promote social, economic, technological, and political change in order to expand civilization beyond Earth, to settle space and to use the resulting resources to build a hopeful and prosperous future for humanity.


  • This annual contest, co-operated by NASA Ames Research Center, San Jose State University, and the National Space Society(NSS), is for all students up to 12th grade (18 years old) from anywhere in the world.
  • Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six or more are judged separately.
  • Entries are also grouped by age/grade of the oldest contestant for judging. The age groups are 7th and under, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th.

How to Apply:

Applying for the scholarship, the candidates are required to fill the online scholarship form through the given link:


About Submission:

  • Submissions must relate to orbital settlements. Settlements may not be on a planet or the moon. Settlements must be permanent, relatively self-sufficient 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.
  • Designs, original research, essays, stories, models, artwork or any other orbital space settlement related materials may be submitted.
  • Submissions must be made in hard copy. No electronic submissions are accepted under any circumstances.
  • Two copies of the entry form with the appropriate information must be included with the submission; one attached to the submission and one loosely attached (for example, with a paper clip). If possible, three-hole punch the loose one. Be sure to fill out all fields. Please type if at all possible. Use a separate sheet if necessary.
  • The submission must be the student’s own work.Plagiarism is forbidden. No part of an entry may copy with one exception: You may quote short passages, but only if the material is surrounded by double quotes (“) and the source indicated. For example: “This material copied from somewhere,” My Favorite Space Book. Quoted materials should rarely be more than a few lines, and never longer than a few paragraphs. Quoting long passages is forbidden. Entries caught plagiarizing, even one part of a large entry, will be disqualified and disposed of.
  • Instructors, mentors or parents may assist the student in presenting relevant resources, discussing core concepts and editing, but the work itself must be entirely student driven.
  • Always include a bibliography.
  • Submissions are not returned. Keep a copy for yourself.

Submitting Details:

Send a hard copy of your entry and two hard copies of a filled out entry form (one firmly attached to your entry and the other loosely attached, perhaps with a paper clip) to:

NASA Ames Research Center
Al Globus/Mail Stop 262-4
Bldg. 262, Rm. 277
P.O. Box 1
Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001

Financial Aid and Award Money:

  • The single highest scoring team or individual attending will receive the $3,000 NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award. If a team wins, the funds will be evenly divided amongst them.
  • The highest ranking winners attending will be invited to give oral presentations as time is available.
  • To the extent space is available, all contestants who attend will be invited to display a poster of their work.
  • Special sessions are arranged for contestants, teachers, parents, etc

Application Deadline:

NSS and NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest entries are due March 1, 2017.

Link for More Information:


Contact Information:

If you have something to say about your experience with this contest, send an email to nss-contest-testimonial-at-nss.org

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