2016 Competition

Rules for 2015-16 Updated

The aim of the Space Science & Engineering Foundation is to increase engagement in science and engineering for as many students as possible. To further that aim, the rules for the 2015-16 programme have been updated. The principal change for 2015-16 is that each school will be permitted only one team in the UK Finals, regardless of the number of successful Regional Heat and video team entries. In the case of multiple entries it will be up to the school to decide how to reduce their teams to the single team permitted in the UK Finals. Please visit our Compete page for further information.

2016 Competition

UKSDC 2016-17 Dates Confirmed

We are delighted to announce that the Regional Heat and Micro-Competition dates for the UK Space Design Competition 2016 are now available for registration.  All available dates are listed on our Regional Heats and Micro-Competition pages.

Regional Heats will be held in Oxford, London, Huddersfield, Derby and Cardiff.  Micro-Competitions will be held in Oxford and London.

The UK Space Design Competition National Finals will take place in London on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March 2016.

Please watch this space for information about this year’s video competition!

2015 Competition

UKSDC National Final 2015: Results


This year the students were asked to present detailed designs for a mobile space settlement housing 10,000 people, designed to travel powered by solar sails in a cycler orbit between the Earth and Mars in the year 2060. They received advice throughout the weekend from Imperial College undergraduates with specialist knowledge relevant to the design process.

The winning design, called Balaluceras was proposed by ‘Vulture Aviation’, and was comprised of a multi-torus design which was praised by the judges for its detailed radiation shielding and cargo handling systems. The team included students from Quintin Kynaston Academy, Capital City Academy, Westminster School, Nonsuch High School for Girls, Bishop Stortford’s College, and Riddlesdown Collegiate School. They had earned their places either by winning at a Regional Heat or producing a top video entry. On the far left is Nicholas Fletcher, director Fletcher Services Ltd and on the far right Louis Lyle an alumi of the competition currently attending York University.

This year’s judging panel included Anita Gale, an Associate Technical Fellow and senior project engineer at Boeing; Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK 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.

Trisha Saxena, 18, Vulture Aviation’s president, said “Whenever people talk about the UK Space Design competition it seems to be about the sleepless nights and stressful deadlines that look impossible to meet, but winning the competition this year makes it all worth the effort. As president of Vulture Aviation I know what a struggle it was to complete our design on time and it’s truly thanks to every single member on the team that we won. It’s a privilege to be able to represent the UK at the International Final and I genuinely hope we can win this year!” A student at Nonsuch High School for Girls, Trisha earned her place at the UK Final by winning the Central England heat at the University of Oxford.

From the 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.

The 2016 competition is already in the works, and anyone interested in getting involved should contact general@uksdc.org.

2014-15 Competition

2014-15 Finalists

We are pleased to announce the following teams have made it through to the Final, impressing the judges with their outstanding performances.

Regional Heat Winners

Nonsuch High School for Girls Central England Regional Heat Winners
Capital City Academy West London Regional Heat Winners
Cardiff Sixth Form College Team A Wales Regional Heat Winners
Trinity School, Sutton Grammar School, and an independent student Central London Regional Heat Winners
Cardiff Sixth Form College Team B Northern England Regional Heat Winners

Video Competition Winners

St Mary Redcliffe Sixth Form Team Harmonics
Bishop’s Stortford College Altus Space Innovation
Wallington County Grammar Marianites
Pate’s Grammar School Pate’s Science Committee
Bede’s Senior School Infinity Ecosystems Solutions
City of London Academy (Southwark) Quantum – COLA
Henrietta Barnett School Out of This World
Westminster School Westminster Space Agency
High School of Glasgow Team Cooper
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School APEX
Space Team Club Omega Interstellar Corp.
Derby Grammar School DGS (Developing Growth in Space)
Dartford Grammar School Cassini
Heston Community School Polaris

Invited Teams

Space Team Club/APSIS
Heathrow Aviation UTC
Dartford Grammar School
Derby Grammar School
Heston Community School
Quintin Kynaston Academy
Riddlesdown Collegiate School
2015 Competition

Lunar Hotels and Asteroid Mining Colonies

A Lunar Hotel designed by students from Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham.

It’s been a busy fortnight, with two Regional Heats and two Micro-Competitions hosting over a hundred students. We’ve seen some fantastic designs for hotel resorts on the moon, and mining colonies on asteroids.

The Central England Heat, held at the University of Oxford, saw students imagining the future of tourism on the moon. The winning design from Nonsuch High School for Girls featured luminescent lighting and exciting zero-gravity sports.

At Westminster Academy, students were challenged to design a mining colony on the Kuiper-belt asteroid 16-Psyche at the West London Heat. Students from Capital City Academy won the day thanks to their detailed scientific knowledge and use of emerging technologies such as 3D-printing. The judges also commended students from Quintin Kynaston Academy on an innovative structure that wrapped around the asteroid rather than being built into it.