“Live in a Healthy Space” Design Competition

"Live in a Healthy Space” Design Competition

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People residing and working in space, space settlements, or on long-duration space flights will need to produce infrastructures and food to maintain healthy lifestyles.

The National Space Society’s “Live in a Healthy Space” Design Competition challenges middle and high school students (ages 12-18) to design one specific component of a space settlement – An Agricultural Module (or area).

Researching and establishing the infrastructures needed to produce food for proper nutrition and healthy diets that help protect astronauts from the hazards of living in space are outcomes that benefit humans on Earth as well as in space, on Mars, or on the Moon.

To have the “Right Stuff” to reside in space, you have to Eat the Right Stuff!

The “Live in a Healthy Space” Design Competition is a separate contest from but is associated with the NSS Gerard K. O’Neill Space Settlement Contest. The product created for this competition can be integrated into the Gerard K. O’Neill Space Settlement Contest as part of that entry. However, an individual or team can submit an entry here without also submitting to the O’Neill contest.

Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six to twelve are judged separately. Entries are also grouped by age/grade of the oldest contestant for judging. The age groups are 6th (age 12), 7th (ages 12-13), 8th (ages 13-14), 9th (ages 14-15), 10th (ages 15-16), 11th (ages 16-17) and 12th (ages 17-18).

Deadline: November 30, 2023


A $15 registration fee will be collected. The fee may be waived in case of hardship.



1) Each contestant whose contest entry meets minimum requirements will receive a certificate of participation.

2) 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and Honorable Mention prizes will be awarded certificates of merit. Winners will be posted online on a Winners Page.

3) An overall Grand Prize will be selected from the highest ranking winning entries.

4) All contestants whose contest entry meets minimum requirements will be invited to attend the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (see tab above)


We hope teachers will make this competition part of their lesson plan. While designing an infrastructure, or researching an ecosystem, or determining healthy nutritional diet plans for a dedicated agricultural module or area, students will have a chance to study STEAM topics such as physics, engineering, health, biology, nutrition, mathematics, space science, environmental science, and many other disciplines.

We would like students outside the science classes to participate as well. Thus, contest submissions may include designing culinary science projects, cook books, exercise training programs, and artwork.

A class or school may submit a joint project where small teams tackle different areas in a coordinated fashion. For example, consider a cross curriculum project where science classes design the basic structure and support systems, art students create pictures of the interior and exterior, and food/nutrition students develop diet plans and recipes for the space settlers.


Would you like to be a judge for this competition?  We are looking for volunteers with specialties in any of these or related areas: agriculture/farming, bioengineering, environmental science, ecosystems, structural engineering/infrastructures, biotechnologies, education, food and nutrition, etc.  If you are interested, please fill out this form. If you have any trouble with the form, email your interest in being a judge to [email protected].


We are soliciting testimonials of experiences with this contest. If you have something to say about your experience with this competition, send an email to [email protected].

Selected testimonials will be posted on the NSS web site and/or used in scientific papers or marketing on the competition. Accepted testimonials may be edited for English and clarity.


Send any questions associated with this competition to [email protected].