The web holds space contests
ranging from essay competitions to sweepstakes prizes
for rocket rides. There are also various educational
related contests on space related topics. Student
essays and reports about a space topic are popular.
Note that the entry dates
for some of the contests listed here may have passed.
However, they are still listed just to give examples
of the types of space contests that have occurred.
The following contests and competitions
are open to students, though they may also be open to
adults and the general public. These competitions involve
some degree of technical or substantive accomplishment
rather than, say, a sweepstakes drawing.
Society The Mars Society has sponsored various contests
such as a song contest for a Mars Anthem in 1999.
The Challenge: For the fifth
year, teams of university students will design
and build the next generation of Mars rovers.
June 2-4, 2011 the teams and their rovers will
face off at the Mars Desert Research Station
in Utah. The Prize: The winning team
will win transportation, lodging and admission
for 5 team members to the 14th Annual International
Mars Society Convention this summer, and large
“Call to Humanity ” Space Exploration Ad Competition:
"calls on talented graphic designers, artists,
and other creative individuals to create a powerful
and inspiring print campaign that will move people
to think about and support humanity’s future in space,
and the “International Space Sweepstakes”, a free
The prize is a 4-day trip to Russia that will
include "a microgravity flight aboard an
Ilyushin-76 aircraft in Russia and an all-inclusive
4-day tour of the homeland of Yuri Gagarin – a
$9,000 value in total."
International Space Sweepstakes:
" [Gives] anyone in the world the chance to travel
to Russia, witness a rocket launch at Baikonur, and
experience the history of the Russian space program
first hand. Entries are free (though donations to
Yuri’s Night are encouraged), but are limited to one
per person. All interested and eligible participants
are welcome (and encouraged) to participate in both
the Competition and the Sweepstakes. The winner, who
will be chosen by random selection, will receive a
10-day Space Travellers “VIP Lift-Off in Baikonur”
travel package and a $1,000 travel voucher for travel
to and from Moscow.
for a senior and graduate level design
course in which students will design, manufacture,
assemble, and test an inflatable loft that will
be integrated onto an existing NASA built operational
hard shell prototype.
In June of 2011 the NASA-Habitat Demonstration Unit
(HDU) Project will conduct a head-to-head competition
for successfully designing and demonstrating an
attachable inflatable habitat “Loft” (2nd level
attachable) concept given a list of requirements
for the design.
for students to design and build a remote
controlled or autonomous excavator, called a lunabot,
that can collect and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms
of lunar simulant within 15 minutes. The complexities
of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics
of the lunar simulant, the weight and size limitations
of the lunabot, and the ability to control the lunabot
from a remote control center.
The competition event will be held May 23-28, 2011
at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, Kennedy Space
Work Contest - student contest to design "tools
and instrumentation for human and robotic exploration
on the moon":
NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate
is inviting teams of undergraduate and graduate students
throughout the country to participate in the fourth
annual Systems Engineering Paper Competition. Participants
in the competition will submit a paper on an Exploration
Systems mission topic. The deadline to register for
the competition is April 16. Papers are due April
23. The winning teams will be announced in May. Awards
include up to $3,500 in cash scholarships and VIP
invitations to attend a future space shuttle or rocket
launch at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The competition is designed to engage students in
the science, technology, engineering and math, or
STEM, disciplines critical to NASA's missions.
& WING: Dropping In a Microgravity Environment
What If No Gravity?
NASA Drop Tower Competition for Student Teams
Balloonsat High Altitude Flight Student Competition
The top four teams will be awarded travel expenses
and up to $1,000 to develop their flight experiment
or technology demonstration. Teams will participate
in three flight days to release, track and recover
their experiments. In addition, students will tour
Glenn facilities and present their findings at Glenn's
and NASA are cooperating on a unique scavenger
Gowalla users who virtually "check-in" at
NASA-related venues and places of discovery
via their smart phone have a chance to find
the four agency virtual items which can be
swapped for other items, dropped in locations
or kept in their vault. Anyone with a Gowalla
account who collects three of the four items
will receive a special pin in their Gowalla
Passport. In addition, the first 100 people
to collect three items will win the special
edition NASA+Gowalla Map: Search for the Moon
Rocks by JESS3, a creative agency that specializes
in data visualization.
Scientist for a Day essay contest sponsored
by NASA JPL. The Cassini
spacecraft will take pictures of Saturn and
its rings and moons on Oct. 18-22, 2010. Study
these three imaging targets and choose the one
you think will yield the best scientific results.
Explain your choice in a 500-word essay. Winners
participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists
The contest is open to students in grades 5-12.
The contest deadline for 2010 is October 27, 2010
at noon Pacific Time.
NASA/Etsy Space Craft Contest - NASA
the online store for handmade arts and crafts,
to launch "Space Craft," a contest
where entrants share an original handmade item
or work of art inspired by NASA and NASA's programs,
such as the Space Shuttle Program and human
spaceflight, aeronautics, science and exploration
of the universe. Contestants can enter two-dimensional
original art (painting, drawing, prints, mixed
media, photographic, and computer generated
prints). Three-dimensional entries, including
wearable art and soft sculptures, also may be
School children aged 6-12 are invited take
part in a competition to design a t-shirt
for ESA astronaut Frank De Winne to wear during
his mission to the International Space Station
next year. The winner, and all their classmates,
will get to talk to De Winne in space.
The Space Generation Advisory Council
(SGAC), through its sponsors, announces an international
technical paper competition to develop unique
and innovative concepts for how to deflect an
asteroid or comet that may impact the Earth
(referred to as mitigation). The competition
calls for individuals or teams to write and
submit a 3-10 page original technical paper
on their innovative concept for mitigation.
The 1st place award is a trip to present the
winning paper at this year's Space Generation
Congress (SGC) and International Astronautical
Congress (IAC) which take place in Glasgow,
Scotland from late September until early October
2008. The 2nd place award is a trip to present
at the SGC. Entries are due on 09 June 2008
and winners will be announced on 30 June 2008,
the 100th anniversary of the Tunguska Event,
the largest asteroid/comet impact event in Earth's
The Society of Performers, Artists, Athletes, and
Celebrities for Space Exploration (SPAACSE)
offers yearly scholarship awards to promising students
in the arts as well as other areas. Contests include a
space essay and a space art competitions.
ThinkQuest is an educational program that gives out
awards and scholoarships totaling over 1 million US
dollars each year to US students 12-19. Teams of 2-3
students, supervised by an adult coach, do a research
study on an approved research topic using the all the
resources of the Internet.
Their web site should present their research findings
in an engaging and informative manner. A panel of judges
review the entries and the top entries get awards. All
entries that pass the basic requirements will be put
on the official web listing.
Typically there are several entries based on space
of Toronto Space Design Contest (UTSDC)
The University of Toronto Space Design Contest (UTSDC)
is an annual contest for high school students. Teams
of up to five compete by developing a design for a particular
space related project (survey missions, space settlements,
etc), and presenting it in a medium of their choosing.
This contest is meant to be an application of creativity,
technical knowledge, presentation skill and teamwork.
Contestants submit their reports to UTSDC to review,
and will have the opportunity to present their designs
at an event hosted on the University of Toronto St.
This contest will have teams of kids and adults
simulating and building lunar rovers from LEGO
MINDSTORMS robotic kits
The X PRIZE Foundation, Google Inc.,
LEGO Systems, National Instruments, and Wired’s
GeekDad will announce “MoonBots: A Google Lunar
X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge” today at
the FIRST WORLD Championships. The new contest
will challenge small teams comprised of children
and adults to design, program, and construct
robots that perform simulated lunar missions
similar to those required to win the $30 million
Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the
Moon designed to enable commercial exploration
of space while engaging the global public. To
further this purpose, the X PRIZE Foundation
and Google have now joined forces with three
other well known technology companies to offer
a competition that will stimulate learning of
robotics and team building while exciting students
and their families about their potential roles
in the new Moon race.
PRIZE Cup - annual rocketry competition and exhibition
Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award
This contest "challenges high school teams to develop
their own innovative concepts to benefit a specific
science and technology area. Students detail their idea
in a technical report, a business plan, and a prototype.
They must demonstrate understanding of not only the
concept itself, but also the business requirements needed
to take their idea to the marketplace"
In honor of Robert H. Heinlein, this organization uses
competitions and prizes to encourage Accomplishments
in Commercial Space Activities.
Microgravity Research Competition - sponsored
by the Heinlein
Prize Trust and SpaceX,
will provide $25k and a ride to low earth orbit and
back in the Dragonlab
for the most innovative microgravity experiment proposal
submitted. Proposals are due March 20, 2009 and the
winners will be announced on April 18, 2009. For additional
is intended to accelerate the design,
manufacture, launch and operation of the next-generation
satellites that will collect energy in space and
deliver it to earth as electricity. These designs
will also be used to inform the public debate about
the opportunities (and limitations) in implementation
of solar power satellites.
The first 10,000 drawings will be showcased
on a dedicated gallery website (www.10000rockets.com)
in addition to the Artsonia.com classroom gallery.
These drawings will also be placed into a commemorative
Mission: 10,000 rockets book
Continent Project at the Colorado
School of Mines sponsors this student competition
for the best space-related business plan. Previously
referred to as the Lunar Ventures competition,
the competition now covers general space-related
CAPITAL Competition 2010 - an international design
challenge - "SHIFTboston calls on all architects,
artists, landscape architects, urban designers,
industrial designers, planners, engineers, and
anyone else who would like to propose a Lunar
concept." Two categories of entries: (1) Lunar
habitats and (2) New concepts for lunar activities,
structures, etc. Registration deadline is Sept.1.10.
the new official Suborbital Scientist
patch of The NASTAR Center[, it] will be worn
by all of our future suborbital scientist trainees
and posted on the website for all to see!
- Teacher Contest - The Mars
Gravity Biosatellte project is using the YourNameIntoSpace.org
program to raise money by selling space on the
exterior surface for people and companies to place
messages, logos, etc. You can win free space for
your favorite teacher by telling them how "your
teacher inspired you or helped launch your career.
Entries may be submitted in any format: essay,
video clip, song, painting, etc. - creativity
is encouraged!" Deadline is May 15th, 2007.
New Forks, LLC is looking for the best space journalism,
period. We're giving a $3,000 prize for the best
unpublished piece of space journalism and a $3,000
prize for the best published piece of space journalism.
That's two categories with one prize of $3,000 for
each category. We're looking for feature stories
on the space sector, from the sexy to the serious.
The Space Journalism Prize - In the Space
Review on Feb.21, 2005, Sam Dinkin announced
the creation of this prize, which will award $1000
for "the best article promoting human spacefaring
that appeared in a print or web publication during
"Find the 10 Planets, and win a Holiday in Space".
A treasure hunt game in which the grand prize is a
trip to space on a suborbital rocket ship. This game
is free to play with no registration.
Centennial Challenges Inspired by the success of the X
PRIZE, NASA has created the Centennial Challenges
program to sponsor competitions to motivate development
in various technologies that will support progress in
space. The programs are open to student teams, small
companies, volunteer organizations, hobbyists, etc.
Each prize competition, referred to as as a Challenge,
is done in partnership with an independent organization
that manages the program.
Sponsored by the American Astronautical Society (AAS)
and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
(AIAA), the student teams win prize money by building
small "can" sized devices that will be "launched and
deployed from a rocket at an altitude of about 760 meters".
are scored for control of the descent rate, landing
orientation, post-landing operations such as making
panoramic images, etc.
does not endorse or certify in any way the sites
listed here and is not responsible for any of the contents
on those sites. All the links and site descriptions were
simply obtained from publicly available information
on the web or in print and given here for your convenience.
Exercise all reasonable caution
when participating in sweepstates and other contests.
We are not responsible for any errors in the link descriptions.