Two Ardingly students, who competed at the UK final of NASA’s space design competition, have flown to Washington to take part in the international finale of the challenge.
Twelve students from the College had reached the final of the UK space design competition earlier this year and had excelled in their endeavour to design and build a settlement in Space. The team were brought together from Fifth to UVI each chosen for their specific skill sets and ability to work as a team. They worked together for 20 hours to fulfil a proposal to build a settlement in space – many worked tirelessly and stayed awake all through the night.
Following their performances at the final, Hugo Binelli-Thomas and Abigail Horton, were awarded places in the EU team to travel to NASA’s HQ in Washington. Both students travelled to the United States in July and competed against teams representing each continent to design and engineer a settlement on the moon.
On her return, Abigail Horton explained how thrilled she was with the experience:
“This competition was by far the most wonderful, most stressful and most productive trip ever! The whole experience has not only taught me about the wonders and advancements in aerospace engineering, but, moreover, how to communicate, learn and collaborate ideas from across the world. Representing North India, Romania, Texas, South Carolina and the EU, our team created a design for the first settlement on the moon. This settlement would be built in the year 2038 in the crater of Moltke, which is in close proximity to the Apollo 11 landing site; thus, this settlement would not only be for research purposes but also a commercial hub for those on earth to visit. After 40 hours of work and 6 hours sleep, our team presented our proposed design to the Gold Team with a 50 slide PowerPoint, followed by a 10-minute Q&A. The whole competition brought to light a totally different dimension to our student lives - we were involved in a real working environment, just as if we were to have proposed our project to NASA themselves. All I can say is thank you - I will never forget this amazing experience!”
Dr Steve Dawson said:
“This is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the students’ talent and hard work”.