NASA Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

NASA Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

This contest can only be entered by residents of the US. See official rules for details.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is working with NASA to help improve food production for long duration space travel. Together, we’re calling on makers across America to submit new designs for gardening systems to be used aboard spacecraft.

Problem– Current spacecraft have minimal space for astronauts to live and work, leaving very little room for anything else. Aboard spacecraft, plant growing environments must be small, placing limits on the amount of food that can be produced. Plant environments on ISS are cube-shaped spaces with lights attached to one inner surface (the top) and the plant root zone attached to the opposite (bottom) inner surface. When plants are small, there will be empty space above them. As plants grow, leaf surfaces become closer to the light, creating empty space underneath.

Challenge– We are seeking new designs and strategies to make better use of the available growing space throughout the life of the plants. Design, build and test a system that uses 3D growing space efficiently to maximize food production. Remember there is no up or down in microgravity, but plants will grow toward the light. Design and build the system within the listed dimensional parameters for your chance to win a $500 gift card and a qualifying spot in the Fairchild final competition!

Open to high school, college, and professional teams. Designs must be submitted by February 3, 2020, and the winning designs will be announced February 14, 2020. Judges for this contest will include NASA engineers and botanists, and winning proposals will be considered for implementation on future NASA missions.

Entries much state which category they are being considered for.

A winning entry must:

  •  Adhere to the volumetric constraints (a 50cm cube)
  •  Contain all necessary features for plant growth (light, water, etc.)
  •  Use 3-dimensional space in an inventive and effective manner

Awards:-

 Professional Winners (5)

Each Professional winner will receive:

  • $500 Gift Card
  • Instructables prize pack including a Robot Mug, Fairchild-designed T-shirt, NASA swag, and a qualifying spot in the Fairchild final competition.

 Collegiate Winners (5)

Each Collegiate winner will receive:

  • $500 Gift Card
  • Instructables prize pack including a Robot Mug, Fairchild-designed T-shirt, NASA swag, and a qualifying spot in the Fairchild final competition.

 High School Winners (5)

Each High School winner will receive:

  • $500 Gift Card
  • Instructables prize pack including a Robot Mug, Fairchild-designed T-shirt, NASA swag, and a qualifying spot in the Fairchild final competition.

Runner Up Winners (20)

Runner-ups will receive:

  • Instructables prize pack including a Robot Mug, Fairchild-designed T-shirt, and NASA swag.

Deadline:- 03-02-2020

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