Category: 2014 Competition

UK Team Lands in Florida

Students representing the winning UK Finals team, Grumbo Aerospace, landed in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday to compete in the International Space Settlement Design Competition.

After a long day spent flying from Heathrow to New York and on to Orlando, the students were excited to get out and explore on Wednesday.

Andrew von Maydell, UK team president, said: “The team visited Universal Studios together today.  With good weather throughout the day, it was quite crowded, but we all got a lot out of the trip.  We got some snacks (albeit at high prices compared to the usual American food prices) at the end of it and came back quite tired for a long rest at the hotel.  We await the arrival of our company members from Uruguay tonight.”

On Thursday the team will visit Cocoa Beach to meet up with students from other countries who form their company.

UKSDC National Final 2014: Results

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This year the students were asked to present detailed designs for a mobile space settlement housing 10,000 people, and designed to move small near-Earth asteroids close to the Earth and the Moon where they could be mined and processed.

The winning design, proposed by ‘Grumbo Aerospace’, was highlighted by the judges for its innovative ideas for zero-gravity sports, detailed solutions to oxygen production issues, and use of machine learning to improve automation. The team included students from Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet, Nonsuch High School for Girls, Cardiff Sixth Form College, Trinity School, and Wallington County Grammar School who had earned their places either by winning at a Regional Heat or in a video competition.

This year’s judging panel included Professor David Southwood, President of the Royal Astronomical Society and former Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency; Dr Randall Perry, founder of the UKSDC and a senior research investigator at the Impacts and Astromaterials Research Centre at Imperial College London; and Helen Oliver, a research associate at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.

Andrew von Maydell, Grumbo’s president, aged 15, said “When I found out that our team had won, it felt fantastic. It was great to see our work over the two days finally all come together. Being able to make something that we were all proud of ourselves, and that impressed the judges, was a great feeling.”

Jithu Subhash, a member of Grumbo, aged 17 said “I was elated when it was announced that our team had won. I was so amazed at the scale of our achievement and the tremendous journey that led us to a victory. I felt a sense of pride for working with such an awesome company with incredible people. I felt honoured and proud to be able to take what I had learned throughout the competition and take it to an international level. I can’t wait to go, it’s going to be a truly memorable experience.”

Matthew Eagling from Trinity School, Croydon, was presented with Grumbo’s Dick Edwards Award for Leadership. The four awards remember Dick Edwards, one of the competition’s co-founders, and is given to students who display exceptional but quiet leadership in their company.

From this winning company, twelve members were selected to form the British team which will go on to the International Final at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center this summer, competing against teams from all over the world.

 

Chipping Norton School at the Final

Congratulations to Chipping Norton School, whose excellent performance at the Oxford Regional Heat in December has earned them a place at the National Final later this month.

A busy weekend

This weekend saw lots of students competing. At the West London Regional Heat, the winners were Vulture Aviation, formed of students from Wallington County Grammar School and a team called Sungrazers.

Two Micro-Competitions were held on the same day, with winning teams made up of students from Westminster Academy, Trinity School, and the City of London Academy (Southwark).

The UK Final is just around the corner, and we’re working on a special surprise for the hard-working students who have earned a place there.

UKSDC 2014 Finalists Announced

We would like to thank everyone who submitted a video and competed in a Regional Heat this year. Clearly a great deal of work was put into these proposals, and the judges were, as always, hard pressed to decide who to invite to London.

However, this year we are pleased to invite the following teams to Imperial College London to compete in the residential Finals of UKSDC 2014:

Full Teams (in no particular order)

  • Supernova Astrosystems, Cardiff Sixth Form
  • GAIA Astronautics, Redcliffe Sixth Form, Bristol
  • APEX News, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
  • Team Denebola, Nonsuch High School for Girls
  • City Aerospace Solutions, City of London Academy
  • Team Sombrero, High School of Glasgow
  • Pate’s Science Committee, Pate’s Grammar School
  • Nec Aspera Terrent, Drayton Manor High School
  • Henrietta Barnett School, Henrietta Barnett School
  • Westminster Space Agency, Westminster School

Four Person Teams (in no particular order)

  • Elysium Contructors, Lancaster Girl’s Grammar
  • ITCH, Redcliffe Sixth Form, Bristol