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.

2015 Competition

Registration open for 2014/15

Registration has opened for UK Space Design Competition (UKSDC) 2014-15.

Events have been confirmed in London and Cardiff between October and December, and more will be announced soon. Regional Heats offer teams of up to 12 students aged 15-18 to earn a place at the UK Finals held at Imperial College London in March where they can win a place at the International Finals held at a NASA space centre. Those who cannot attend Regional Heats in person, can submit alternative proposals to a video competition which opens in late August.

Micro-Competitions, for 11-14 year olds, run alongside the Regional Heats, and allow younger students to experience the thrill of the competition in a shorter version of the event.

The Space Science & Engineering Foundation is looking for schools and other organisations to host further events across the country, and also for professionals interested in supporting the Competition as volunteers. Contact general@uksdc.org for more information.

Full details and dates can be found at www.uksdc.org, and all queries should be addressed to general@uksdc.org

2014 Competition

UKSDC National Final 2014: Results


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.