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February 19, 2002

Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(281) 483-5111

Release: J02-22 -- JSC Hosts Fourth Annual Mars Settlement Design

An exciting industry simulation game for Houston-area high school students -- the fourth annual Mars Settlement Design Competition – will be hosted by NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) Feb. 22-24, 2002.

The competition is designed to teach students in grades 10, 11 and 12 about Mars, space science, the space environment, engineering careers, organizing and integrating complex activities, teamwork, management, and effective communication in an exciting and unusual context. It’s part of JSC's recognition of National Engineers Week.

An opportunity for news media representatives to witness the competition and speak with organizers and participating students will be offered from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. Media planning to attend must contact the Johnson Space Center newsroom, (281) 483-5111, by noon CST Thursday, Feb. 21, to arrange credentials. Transportation on site at JSC will be provided and media should plan to arrive at the JSC main gate no later than 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday, Feb. 23.

The game scenario is set in the middle of the 21st century, when The Foundation Society, a fictitious private organization that promotes human exploration and colonization of space, issues an urgent call to industry to propose a design and operating plan for a new Mars base. Up to 140 students will portray analysts, planners, artists, writers, organizers and managers with a variety of skills, and be teamed to form four competing companies.

Guided by a professional NASA or industry manager acting as their company's Chief Executive Officer, the students will emulate the experience of working as a member of an aerospace company team, developing a proposal for the new Mars base. The base requirements will be complex, challenging, and exciting, and will require imaginative and innovative approaches and solutions.

The Competition will conclude with each student company presenting its proposal to a panel of NASA and industry judges, who will select a winning proposal.

For more information about the Mars Settlement Design competition, including photos of participants in previous competitions, visit its web site at: http://marsbase.jsc.nasa.gov For more information about National Engineers Week, visit its web site at: http://www.eweek.org -- END --

 

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