ESMD Space Grant Project 2010 Systems Engineering Paper Competition – Letter of Intent Due April 16, 2010

NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Space Grant Project proudly announces the fourth annual Systems Engineering Paper Competition. This competition is designed to assist NASA with strengthening the nation’s future STEM workforce in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The ESMD Systems Engineering Paper Competition is open to undergraduate or graduate student teams enrolled in a U.S. college or university.

For this competition, the paper should relate to one of the following areas that are critical to the future of space exploration.

  • Spacecraft: Guidance, navigation and control; thermal; electrical; structures; software; avionics; displays; high-speed re-entry; modeling; power systems; interoperability/commonality; advanced spacecraft materials; crew/vehicle monitoring; life-support.
  • Propulsion: Propulsion methods that use materials found on the moon or Mars, “green” propellants, on-orbit propellant storage, motors, testing, fuels, manufacturing, soft landing, throttle-able propellants, high performance and descent.
  • Lunar and Planetary Surface Systems: Precision landing hardware, software, in-situ resource utilization, navigation systems, extended surface operations, robotics (specifically environmental scouting prior to human arrival, outpost maintenance with and without humans present, and assistance to astronaut with geologic exploration), environmental analysis, radiation protection, spacesuits, life support, and power systems.
  • Ground Operations: Pre-launch, launch, mission operations, command and control software systems, communications, landing, and recovery.

The top three teams will receive a cash scholarship and VIP seating to an upcoming launch.
Teams must submit a letter of intent and team roster by April 16, 2010. The deadline for submitting the research paper is April 23, 2010.

For more information about this competition, visit


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