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WHEN and WHERE the Program Will Take Place

Participation begins with your decision to compete and ends with the implementation of your team's Outreach Plan.

Selection of Finalist Teams (Fall 2000 Semester)

A Peer Review Committee, consisting of representatives of NASA, industry and universities, will select from among the proposals received up to six student teams to participate as finalists in the NASA MarsPort Engineering Design Student Competition 2001 program. The Committee will assess each proposal according to the following criteria:

  • Strength and depth of thought invested in preparing a professional MCCS Conceptual Design Review (CDR) Report, which is to provide an overview of the team's top-level Conceptual Design of a MarsPort Cryogenics and Consumables Station; a competing team should make its CDR Report as comprehensive and "thought-through" as possible, as these will be the fundamental criteria by which its work will be judged during the peer review process;
  • Ability of team to form strategic alliances (e.g., partnerships with students in related fields, industry, news media organizations, etc.) and describe how they will be useful and effective;
  • Strength of team members' credentials (students, professors, mentors, etc.)
  • Institutional and community resources obtained in support of the team's proposal-writing and post-selection activities (e.g., course credit, coverage of expenses, local publicity, community outreach support, etc.)
  • Extent and quality of a proposed Outreach Plan to implement effective strategies for the team to transfer the experience and knowledge gained through participation in the NASA MarsPort Engineering Design Student Competition 2001 program to other audiences, including faculty and students in all levels of education as well as the general public;
  • Presence of a formal, written commitment of the proposing team's home institution and/or other qualified source (e.g., National Space Grant state consortium, corporate underwriter, etc.) to arrange for funding to cover all costs associated with its participation, including those for travel for at least two team members to the NASA MarsPort 2001 Design Conference in Florida (see below).

We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented groups, including those attending institutions serving underrepresented groups, to submit proposals.

We also encourage, but do not require, teams to include a Team Journalist within its membership. Each Team Journalist will be required to be a professional journalist (not a student journalist) and will be expected to report the activities of his/her team to the community in which the team is based.

Review Criteria Weighting

Reviewers will assign to each proposal a numerical score of 1-10 (10 being the highest) in each of two categories - "Technical" and "Outreach." The weighted average of those two scores will constitute an overall score, which will be used to rank-order the proposals received.

"Technical" will comprise 70% of this score; "Outreach", 30%. Selection of the participating teams will be made according to the teams' rankings based on their overall scores.

Cash Awards for the Selected Teams

All six student teams will each receive cash awards of $500 upon being selected to participate in the Design Phase. Additional cash awards will be made during the Design Phase (see below).

Design Phase (Spring 2001 Semester)

During the Design Phase, which will occur during the Spring 2001 Semester, the six selected teams will be asked to produce design documents according to the following schedule:

Design Documents Deadline
Preliminary Design Review (PDR) Report Due Mid-March
Preliminary Design Review (PDR) Report Review Returned to Teams One Week after Report Deadline
Delta Preliminary Design Review (Delta PDR) Oral Report Due via Videoconference Presentation Mid-April
Detailed Design Review (DDR) Report and Presentation (during NASA MarsPort Design Conference at KSC) Mid-May

The Preliminary Design Review (PDR) Report is to contain all information necessary to define a detailed preliminary design of the MCCS. This design report will be written in a detailed format (to be specified) and will include a minimum of 30 pages of single-spaced text. Each team will send a digital copy of its PDR Report to the Project Co-Directors, who will forward it to the MarsPort Design Review Committee.

The Preliminary Design Review (PDR) will be conducted for each PDR Report by the MarsPort Design Review Committee, which will critique the work. Written review comments will be provided to each team one week after the report deadline.

The Delta Preliminary Design Review (Delta PDR) Oral Report and Videoconference Presentation will be due one month after the PDR report and will provide an overview of the second major design iteration. The Delta PDR contains two parts. First will be a written listing of all amendments made to the original PDR Report that was submitted for review in March. Each team will send a digital copy of its amended report to the Project Co-Directors, who will forward it to the MarsPort Design Review Committee.

For the second part of the Delta PDR, teams will present their Amended PDRs during separate one-hour videoconferences with the MarsPort Design Review Committee during the week following the Delta PDR deadline. Feedback will be provided to the proposal team at the conclusion of their presentation.

The Detailed Design Review (DDR) Report is an end-of-semester, end-of-project report that provides all necessary information for a detailed preliminary design of a MarsPort Cryogenics and Consumables Station. This design report will be written in a detailed format (to be specified) and will include a minimum of 50 pages of single-spaced text. It will also include all trade studies, detailed designs, diagrams, tables, integration tables, final mass estimates, volume, power, operational constraints, and program outlines developed by the team. Each team will send a digital copy of its DDR Report to the Project Co-Directors, who will forward it to the MarsPort Design Review Committee.

Bi-weekly Progress Reports

Each student team will be required to submit in digital form progress reports at the end of every other week, using a standard design page progress report form (to be specified). The completed forms will communicate the work that has been accomplished during each bi-weekly period, and work that will be accomplished in the next bi-weekly period.

Cash Progress Awards

The six student teams will receive additional cash awards of $500 at the following milestones (a) following the initial PDR, (b) following the subsequent Delta PDR, and (c) following the DDR.

NASA MarsPort Design Conference (May 2001)

A NASA MarsPort Design Conference will be held at the Kennedy Space Center at the end of the spring semester. During the conference, each team will present its final Detailed Design based on its DDR Report.

Outreach Program Implementation and Other Post-Conference Activities (Summer 2001 Semester)

Teams must undertake and complete an Outreach Program. At a minimum, it must include (a) a Final Report of 40 pages or less in length (at least 12pt. typeface) and (b) a Team Web Site. The web site must be established within two (2) weeks of receiving notice that the team has been selected as one of six Competition Finalist teams and is to be developed and evolved throughout the remainder of the team's MarsPort 2001 participation. The contents of the web site must be described in the proposal.

During the Summer Semester following the NASA MarsPort Design Conference, each finalist team member must also a (web-based) EDCATS evaluation of the NASA MarsPort Design Program

Recognition of Exemplary Accomplishments (August 2001)

Based on its assessment of each team's overall performance, the MarsPort Design Review Committee may, at its option, recognize exemplary accomplishments at the end of the program. Additional cash awards of $500 will be made to teams deserving such recognition.


The NASA MarsPort Engineering Design Student Competition 2001 program is jointly sponsored by NASA and Science Applications International Corporation, and is jointly administered by the Florida Space Grant Consortium and the Texas Space Grant Consortium.


Last Modified: Mon Apr 09, 2001