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Your Participation

We invite you to form one of six (6) university student teams selected to participate in a unique educational opportunity - the development of a comprehensive business plan for bringing about human activities on Mars.

The results and products of your work will become part of the NASA Mars Exploration Business Plan (Business Plan), and will play an important part in determining NASA's role in this historic undertaking.

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 seek creative solutions to our specific issues; yet your work is to be well grounded in proven theory and practice. Because of other related activities currently underway, we will ask the six (6) selected teams to focus on the following three issues in support of Mars exploration planning:

  1. Bringing about necessary changes in organizational cultures

  2. Optimizing financial, funding, and investment aspects

  3. Identifying and engaging customers.

Because of the high levels of interest within NASA in your work, key NASA managers will work directly with the selected teams to develop the Business Plan. For example, they will:

  • help each student team refine its work to maximize its contributions to the officially-adopted Business Plan, 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 Business Plan segment will be presented, to be held in May 1999 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston; and,

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

What This Opportunity Is About
The Need for a Business Plan Partnering NASA & Universities Your Participation


1999 NASA Means Business Student Competition is a HEDS UP Program. HEDS UP is sponsored by NASA and is administered by the Lunar and Planetary Institute and Texas Space Grant Consortium.


Last Modified: Thu Sept 24, 1998