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WHAT This Opportunity Is About

Planet Mars WE INVITE YOU to form a university student team and participate in a unique educational opportunity - the development of a Mars Exploration Customer Engagement Plan. The results and products of your work will become part of the NASA Mars Exploration Business Plan, and will play an important part in determining NASA's roles and relationships necessary to establish and maintain a human presence on Mars.

It is envisioned that your team's participation will necessarily be interdisciplinary, possibly involving a consortium of departments, or even universities, to insure that all key skills and perspectives are brought to bear. You may enlist the private sector where required to provide higher fidelity to the plan. We also anticipate proposals will be topically interdisciplinary, reflecting expertise in Customer Engagement areas such as publicity, promotion, public affairs, marketing, advertising, opinion research, and so forth.

We seek creative solutions to our specific issues; yet your work should be well grounded in proven theory and practice. We also wish to take advantage of the work accomplished in the 1999 NASA Means Business student competition, access to which is provided below.

Because of other related activities currently underway, we ask that your team focus on the following issues in support of Mars exploration planning:

  • Identifying and engaging customers and stakeholders in all sectors of society, both domestic and foreign (e.g., industry, government, academia, general public, and the volunteer sector).

  • Bringing about necessary changes in organizational cultures required for successful Customer Engagement Plan implementation.

Because of the high levels of interest within NASA in your work, key NASA managers will work directly with the finalist teams. For example, they will:
  • help each student team refine its work to maximize its contributions, and

  • provide each student team with access to data sources and mentoring relationships with NASA and aerospace contractor professionals.

Each selected team will also receive:
  • a cash award of $1,000;

  • travel grants for one faculty member and one student to attend a university-industry-NASA Customer Engagement Conference, during which the team's Customer Engagement Plan will be presented, to be held in May 2000 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston; and,

  • international recognition as an important contributor to the Mars human expedition planning effort.

2000 NASA Means Business Student Competition
What is NASA Customer Engagement? What Happened During NMB '99? The Need for a Business Plan Partnering NASA and the Universities


2000 NASA Means Business Student Competition is sponsored by NASA and is administered by Texas Space Grant Consortium.


Last Modified: Mon Oct 04, 1999