A new engineering contest is looking for designs for the space shuttle that will transport the first humans to the planet Mars. The Inspiration Mars Student Design Contest will field designs for the space craft from a group of 38 teams of engineering students from colleges all over the world.
The Mars Society will award the top winner with a $10,000 prize and a trip to the International Mars Society Convention in Houston, Texas this summer. The student teams have been hard at work on their designs since the previous summer but the response has been pretty overwhelming. So far, they’ve attracted interest from colleges in 15 different countries with “the most creative ideas from engineers all over the world,” according to Inspiration Mars Executive Director Dennis Tito.
The competition is still underway so the Mars Society hasn’t released any of the proposed designs submitting for the contest but our imaginations are running pretty wild so far. Space travel has always been a magnificent feat but even though we’re living in the age of iPads, wireless Internet and voice controlled Xbox Ones, going to Mars still feels like such a monumental, futuristic achievement. That and flying cars. When are we going to get the flying cars already? Somebody should do a student design contest for flying cars, already!
There’s even more good news. The students have nowhere to go but up since the design for a Mars mission ship is still up in the air. If anything, they can still do way better than the clumsy designs of the ships used for the 2000 sci-fi movie Mission to Mars.