NASA has currently opened their application window, inviting students in college and universities to help the space agency with the design of systems for future space habitats and exploration systems.
Known as NASA’s Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge, the competition will challenge students to design and implement new prototype systems that may advance capabilities for human space exploration.
This is the 5th annual challenge X-Hab from NASA, and the agency has the application window open through the end of this month.
Those interested in taking part should form teams and submit their plan for the design, manufacture, assembly and testing of their system. NASA’s Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM) team will be responsible for evaluating the plans submitted.
The EAM is a new agency activity under the Advanced Exploration Systems division of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. The AES division pioneers development and demonstration of new technologies for future human missions beyond Earth’s orbit – including Orion’s habitation and spacewalking capabilities for extended deep space missions.
“We look forward to another imaginative group of X-Hab projects for the 2015 Challenge,” said Lora Bailey, EAM project manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Our team of engineers and scientists around the agency benefits from the enthusiasm, energy and creativity of the university teams, and the teams benefit from the real world experiences of collaborating with NASA experts and following a project from design through implementation.”
X-Hab Challenge projects in the past have included an inflatable loft for crew sleeping quarters, plant growth systems, stowage systems and habitat layout designs. This year, students may choose projects from a variety of areas such as power distribution systems, advanced avionics, inflatable structures, additive manufacturing and food production systems.