Norman Chaffee

Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX


Release: J00-4


While living at Johnson Space Center the weekend of February 11, Houston
area high school students will use their imagination and knowledge to
design complete details of a human settlement on Mars in the year 2050.

One hundred and twenty students from Houston and Southeast Texas will
participate in the Second Annual JSC Mars Settlement Design Competition,
a program that was designed to introduce students to the technical,
communication and teamwork skills they will need when they join
industry. Organized into four ìcompanyî teams, the students gain the
experience of working as a member of an aerospace industry proposal
team. They will work against a deadline to design, develop and present a
30-page proposal of their concept of a human community on Mars to a team
of local NASA and industry judges.

Teams will be mentored and coached by executives from NASA, Boeing and
other aerospace companies who volunteer their time to guide the
studentsí efforts. Using technologies and materials currently available,
the teams must plan a community that would support 10,000 residents. All
aspects that would be necessary to actually complete the project must be
considered in their proposal. These include design, construction
materials, logistics including transport vehicles, power allocation,
robotics systems, life support, a cost estimate and a schedule.

At the conclusion of the weekend, the teams will present their proposal
to a panel of expert judges who will hold them to an exacting standard.

Once presentations are complete and while the judges make their final
decision, the students will tour JSC for a behind-the-scenes look at
Space Station facilities and the next-generation X-38 spacecraft
currently under development.

Interested Houston area high school students are encouraged to ask their
math and science teachers or school principals for more information
about this project. The target deadline for registration is Friday,
January 28. Information is also available at the competition website

The Mars Settlement Design Competition is one of the key events of
NASAís month-long outreach effort in support of National Engineers Week.
The competition is hosted and sponsored by NASA Johnson Space Center,
The Boeing Company, the Clear Creek Independent School District and the
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Media wishing to document the competition must contact the JSC Newsroom
no later than noon, February 9 to arrange for accreditation.