NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest FAQ

For all contest information and additional details, see the contest web page.

  1. How do I enter the contest?
  2. How do I register for the contest?
  3. How and when should I send my entry to NASA Ames?
  4. How and when will the results be known?
  5. How and when will I get my certificate?
  6. Can you send my certificate via commercial service or courier?
  7. What should I do if my certificate is wrong or never arrives?
  8. How can I reduce the chance my certificate will be wrong or never arrive?
  9. I didn't get my NSS certificate at ISDC, can you help me?
  10. What will happen if part of my entry is plagiarized?
  11. Can I get my entry back?
  12. On Earth gravitational attraction prevents us from floating away. In a space settlement, the mass is much less as compared to Earth and no gravitational force is present, so how can we create gravity?
  1. How do I enter the contest?

    Simply send your entry to NASA Ames by the deadline along with entry forms. All entries must be hard copy (paper), no electronic entries are permitted. See the contest web page for details.

  2. How do I register for the contest?

    You don't. There is no registration. Simply send your entry to NASA Ames by the deadline along with entry forms. See the contest web page for details.

  3. How and when should I send my entry to NASA Ames?

    We recommend either the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL. You should time sending such that your entry arrives at Ames well before the deadline. Do not send via registered mail, that can actually delay delivery significantly and is no more reliable.

  4. How and when will the results be known?

    Contest results will be posted at a link from the contest web page a few days after judging is complete. Juding is usually complete 2-3 weeks after the contest deadline.

  5. How and when will I get my certificate?

    Certificates will be sent using the U.S. Postal Service, which will send the envelopes overseas as well as to the US. Certificates take some time to make, so it usually takes a few months after the judging is complete to make and send them all.

  6. Can you send my certificate via commercial service or courier?

    No. The contest is a very low budget affair and we can use the U.S. Postal Service at no cost.

  7. What should I do if my certificate is wrong or never arrives?

    Send an email to the address below. Include the name or all the students on the project, the name of project, any prizes won, and the address to send new certificates to. Be sure that the address is formatter exactly as it should appear on the envelope. For example, do not put the address all on one line, but on multiple lines exactly as it should appear on the envelop. Also, include the name that should go on the envelope in the address.

  8. How can I reduce the chance my certificate will be wrong or never arrive?

    Most of these errors happen when entry forms are hard to read. Type your entry form. The people reading the certificates have a hard time with anything hand written, particularly from foreign countries. Also, after you have printed your entry form, look at it. If it is hard to read, fix it!

  9. I didn't get my NSS certificate at ISDC, can you help me?

    No. Those certificates are handled by the NSS (National Space Society), not NASA, and are only available to contestants attending ISDC (the International Space Development Conference).

  10. What will happen if part of my entry is plagiarized?

    We will send an email to the address on your entry form. You will not receive a certificate. Please do not ask for one, pretending it got lost in the mail.

  11. Can I get my entry back?

    No.

  12. On Earth gravitational attraction prevents us from floating away. In a space settlement, the mass is much less as compared to Earth and no gravitational force is present, so how can we create gravity?

    You don't. Only mass creates gravity. That's basic physics.

    We can create pseudo-gravity -- something that feels a lot like gravity but isn't -- by rotation. If you have ever played on an old fashioned merry-go-round or been on a spinning ride at an amusement park you have felt as if you were pulled away from the center of rotation. That same effect is used to produce pseudo-gravity on a space settlement.

    If you've never been on a rotating ride, next time you are in a car going around a corner, notice that you feel as if you are being pushed towards the side of the car opposite the direction of turn. Think about what is happening when you feel that force, and you'll understand how pseudo-gravity is created.

Author: Al Globus

Contest Web Site