Upcoming NOI Deadline for NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge ­ September 30, 2016

Upcoming NOI Deadline for NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge ­ September 30, 2016

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in NASA’s

2017 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge!

The deadline to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for this exciting university engineering design challenge is next Friday, September 30th.

BIG Idea Challenge NOIs should include a brief summary of the team’s proposed idea for in-space assembly of spacecraft ­ particularly tugs, propelled by solar electric propulsion (SEP), that transfer payloads from low Earth orbit (LEO) to a lunar distant retrograde orbit (LDRO).

Teams who submit NOIs will be invited to participate in a teleconferenced Q&A session with the BIG Idea judges on October 6, 2016.

As a reminder, full proposals are due November 30th, and should be 8-10 pages in length. Papers must discuss designs and analyze potential modular concepts and systems that provide the ability to construct large SEP tugs in space. Concepts can employ new approaches for:

  • packaging modules in one or more launch vehicles that minimize launch loads,
  • modular (distributed) solar arrays and ion engines, and
  • robust robotic assembly (joining) of the modules that form the SEP tug.

Complete competition details can be found on the printable flyer for the 2017 BIG Idea Challenge, and on the BIG Idea website 

Based on a review of the proposals, four (4) teams will be selected to submit technical papers and present their concepts to a panel of NASA judges at the 2017 BIG Idea Forum at the NASA Langley Research Center, February 15-16, 2017, in Hampton, VA.

The final four qualifying teams will receive a $6,000 stipend to facilitate participation in the BIG Idea Forum.  The winning team will receive offers to participate in paid internships with the Game-Changing Development (GCD) team at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, where they can work toward further developing their concept under the mentorship of NASA experts.

Important Dates:

September 30, 2016 Notice of Intent (NOI) deadline
November 30, 2016 Proposal deadline
December 15, 2016 Selection notifications will be made
February 7, 2017 Technical paper deadline for 4 qualifying teams
February 15-16, 2017 2017 BIG Idea Forum at NASA Langley Research Center

On behalf of NASA and NIA, we hope you will consider involving your students in this competition that could potentially reduce the cost of deep space exploration by developing space systems that can be assembled in-space and re-used or upgraded for additional missions.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the BIG Idea team at BigIdea@nianet.org.

Kindest Regards,

The BIG Idea Program Team: Shelley Spears, Stacy Dees, and Victoria O’Leary


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