International Space Settlement Design Competition

Space Settlement Design Competition Sponsors and Future Vision

Space Settlement Design Competitions were created by Co-Founders Anita Gale, Dick Edwards, and Rob Kolstad. The three Co-Founders have conducted Space Settlement Design Competitions as a volunteer activity since 1984.

The Co-Founders rely on the selfless contributions of uncounted hours by volunteers who help with organizing, judging, and coaching for the Design Competition. Most of our volunteers are associated with the following organizations:

As of Autumn 2009, the financial situation for the ISSDC competitions is challenging.

For the first decade, sponsors of the International Space Settlement Design Competition enabled the Co-Founders to offer this experience for any school world-wide with high school age students, and to provide complimentary lodging and meals for Finalist Competition participants. In the early years, the Competition's most generous sponsors were:

From 1998 through 2004, continuing support was provided by the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

From 1999 through 2005, proceeds from three annual local Space Settlement Design Competitions helped defray costs of the International Competition. Major sponsors of these events were:

As we updated this website for the 2005 - 2006 Competition, we learned that changing educational outreach priorities at NASA and associated corporate sponsors threatened the JSC and WSTF Competitions. The JSC Competition (now an International Semi-Final) continues with reduced scope. Competition Co-Founders Anita Gale and Dick Edwards personally donated the majority of funding required to conduct the 2006, 2007, and 2008 International Finalist Competitions. An Award to Anita from The Boeing Company for Exceptional Volunteer Service helped with 2009 expenses.

As we update this website for the 2009-2010 Competition, we are looking for sponsors. A generous contribution from the Northwest Area [Iowa] Education Agency will pay about 30% of anticipated Finalist Competition expenses. As an AIAA activity, the Competition can accept 501(c)(3) tax deductible donations. We are, however, in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) non-profit organization status for the Competition.

Future Vision

Despite financial uncertainties, the Co-founders are responding to participant demand and expanding the Competition concept to benefit more students:

Expansion Implemented for 2007 - 2008: Twelve Finalist Teams

A dozen 12-student teams advance to the Finalist Competition, either through Semi-Finalist Competitions or judging of Qualifying Competition proposals. Teams are "tripled up" to form four Competition companies of 36 to 40 students each. Enables 144 to 160 students to participate in the intensity of the International Finals, with company sizes approaching the practical maximum.

Expansion Implemented for 2008 - 2009: Sixteen Teams at the Finals

In addition to the dozen 12-student Finalist Teams, four 4-student Invited Teams participate in the International Finals; the concept enables up to 170 student participants.

Expansion in Work: U.S. National Semi-Finalist Competitions

Conduct four Semi-Finalist Competitions in the U.S., in regions roughly corresponding to time zones. Invite eight or more 12-person teams to each Semi-Final, or some combination of teams and individuals up to 160 participants, guaranteeing a "live" Competition experience for over 400 students nation-wide. One team from each Semi-Final advances to the Finals.

Planned Expansion: Ten International Semi-Finalist Competitions

In addition to four U.S. regions, six other regions are established world-wide. At least eight 12-person teams compete in each Semi-Final, enabling 1000 or more students to experience a "live" Competition. One team advances to the Finals from each Semi-Final; the remaining two Finalist teams are selected from Qualifying proposals submitted by Semi-Finalist teams.

This vision can be implemented incrementally. Asian and Australian Regional Semi-Finalist Competitions already exist. A Latin American Semi-Final is conducted in a reduced-budget format. Regional Coordinators are working to establish Semi-Finals in Europe and Africa. The local Johnson Space Center Competition in Texas is now designated a Semi-Final. Negotiations are in progress to establish U.S. West Coast and East Coast Semi-Finals. Teams will be selected for the Finals through Qualifying Competition proposals until regional Semi-Finals are established for their parts of the world.

If you have questions or comments about the Competition or these materials, you are welcome to contact Competition organizer Anita Gale <>