Colonising the final frontier - Mars

While space stations are already orbiting the planet we call home, space settlements are mere futuristic settings in some faraway Hollywood Sci-Fi film.

Looking at how human’s exploration of the extraterrestrial bodies, one just cannot stop fantasising about living in space, with Mars being a prime candidate for our next home.

Enter the Space Settlement Design Competition, founded by Anita Gale and Dr. Randall Perry. The competition, organised by the Cardiff Sixth Form College, was hosted at Sri Emas International School just last week!

Tr. Anne together with co-founders Nadeem and Yasmin Sarwar, Recruitment Consultant Benjamin Donnelly, Anita Gale and Dr. Randall Perry.

Anita Gale is a Senior Project Engineer at Boeing who worked on NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, while Dr. Randall Perry co-founded the Space Science and Engineering Foundation (SSEF), a UK charity set up to promote younger students interest in engineering and science.

The 'client' submitting their request for proposal (RFP) to contractors. The game starts now!

The Space Settlement Design Competition wants to put students in a space engineer's hot seat of and encourage their creativity in science, engineering, mathematics and technology. In short, everything an engineer needs to build the wildest space settlement capable of relocating a small, but significant group of pioneers on a one-way trip: Mission Mars.

Our future engineers reaching for the stars, together with students from other schools.

There, they will live in cutting edge habitats designed to protect humans from the harsh Martian environment, with food growing and resource collection being a large hurdle. Robots will help out with routine tasks like housekeeping and simple repairs, while space entrepreneurs will grow and develop the economy to create jobs for the settlers.

Students were then required to present their dreams to the panel of judges.

Any idea is always subject to scrutiny. Here, our students' ideas are being put on the experts' grill. 

It was so exciting seeing the ideas students had developed, with the majority of ideas incorporating real-world technologies, as they were encouraged to conduct research to further grow their proposals.

The team which won the proposal to resettle humans on Mars was Grumbo Aerospace, a company represented by students from Sri Emas, Pusat Tuisyen Sirius, and Mutiara International Grammar School. Grumbo Aerospace specialises in heavy earth-orbit lifting, and the judges were impressed with their ability to create a low-cost, yet innovative approach incorporating real-world technologies to colonising Mars.

Students from the winning company will be prioritised for a full scholarship at Cardiff Sixth Form College, one of the highest performing A Level colleges in the United Kingdom.

We’re so proud that Cardiff Sixth Form College and the Space Settlement Design Competition chose to work with us, amongst the many schools available in Malaysia. It was also really cool giving our students, and guest students an opportunity to work with engineers who are pushing the boundaries of space exploration. We know these engineers can inspire our students to pursue their dreams!

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