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NASA Competition Allows College Students Chance to Build Space Habitats

international-space-station-ctrl_65College students participating in NASA’s X-Hab Academic Innovation Competition may have the chance to contribute to the building of new space habitats in a competition designed to leverage the innovative ideas of students.

The competition will select three project teams to receive funding, and the winning team will be extended further grants to help integrate its design into field testing.

According to NASA, “The challenge is for a senior- and graduate-level design course in which students will design, manufacture, assemble, and test an inflatable loft that will be integrated onto an existing NASA built operational hard shell prototype.”

In June 2011, NASA-Habitat Demonstration Unit Project will commence the competition and choose the winner by the following August or September HDU prototype testing. The participants will design, manufacture and demonstrate their “habitat loft,” or attachable unit of a standard unit of NASA’s hard shell lab, by using the provided design requirements.

The foundation anticipates three winners to be granted up to $48,000 each to further develop their prototypes. The winning team will be awarded with an additional $10,000 to prepare its model for field testing.

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