International Space Settlement Design Competition 2014

The International Space Settlement Design Competition 2014 was held at the Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, Florida. Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram qualified for the competition as an invited team. We were assigned the company name “Rockdonnell” and were teamed up with Johnson Space Center Semi-Final Winner from US, Latin American Semi-Final Winner from Uruguay, Princess Margaret Secondary School—Surrey British Columbia from Canada and the invited team from Wales. In all there were 4 companies each of which consisted of 5 schools and 48 students each. Our company’s CEO was Eryn Andrews Beisner who is an engineer at NASA and working with her was an amazing opportunity for us.

From left to right: Mrs. Sarita Singh (Shraddha’s mother); Siddharth Bhogra; Tanay Vardhan; Akshay Kumar Gupta; Prateek Swain; Abhishek Anand; Tanay Kothari; Mrs. Archna Deepak; Shraddha Anand

This contest puts high school students in the shoes of aerospace industry engineers designing a city in space that will be a home for over 10,000 people. Student engineers demonstrate creativity, technical competence, management skills, space environment knowledge, teamwork, and presentation techniques to conquer the problems inherent in sitting and designing a Space Settlement. Our problem statement at the competition revolved around making a space settlement on the surface of moon named “Balderol”. We needed to describe the design, development, construction and operations/maintenance planning of Balderol and prepare a 50 slide presentation within a time frame of 41 hours.

Tanay Kothari from our school was selected as the company’s Vice President of Engineering. Shraddha Anand and Abhishek Anand from our school were selected to present the final presentations on stage. Abhishek Anand was awarded the Dick Edwards Award for exceptional leadership. This award is given to one person from each company and to just four students overall at the competition. The company “Dougeldyne Astrosystems and Flechtel Contractors” won the competition with our company ending up as runner’s up.

Abhishek Anand receiving the Dick Edwards Leadership Award

All in all, ISSDC 2014 was a very enriching and learning experience for all the students. There was lot of knowledge to take back and incorporate in such future ventures. It will always remain as one of the most memorable educational events for all of the team. We had the honour interacting with the likes of Norman Chaffee (designer of Falcon 9), Anita Gale (a Boeing engineer) and Jim Christensen (Vice President of Atlantis Educational Services).