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BIG Idea Challenge: Marsboreal Greenhouse Design

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Academic Level:
Undergraduates - First Year
Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior
Undergraduates - Senior
Graduate Students (Masters)
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The Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge is an initiative supporting NASA’s Game Changing Development Program (GCD) efforts to rapidly mature innovative/high impact capabilities and technologies for infusion in a broad array of future NASA missions. This GCD-sponsored engineering design competition seeks innovative ideas from the academic community for the design and operation of a Mars Greenhouse. Supplying reliable and effective food production systems on Mars will reduce the logistics needed to transport food from Earth and also promote crew health on long surface missions.

Participation in the BIG Idea Challenge is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students studying in fields applicable to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and life, physical, and computer sciences). The BIG Idea challenge allows students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Based on a review of proposed Mars Greenhouse concepts submitted by interested teams, up to 5 teams will be chosen to compete at the BIG Idea Forum at the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in Hampton, VA in April. Each team will receive a monetary award to facilitate full participation in the BIG Idea Forum. Eligible students on teams that advance to the BIG Idea Forum will have the opportunity to compete for one of the five NASA summer internship slots set aside for BIG Idea participants.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
NASA Langley Research Center (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 
movie  Program Video

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Aerospace Engineering
Atmospheric Sciences
Computer & Electrical Engineering
Crop & Soil Sciences
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
STEM Fields

Ecosystem Science
Food Systems
Plant Biology
Structural Design
Terrestrial Ecology

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Page last updated 4/18/2019
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