The 2017 Caltech Space Challenge will see students design a Moon base for deep space exploration

Every two years, Caltech holds a competition for science students around the world, where two teams tackle problems that mankind is likely to face in the future.

In 2011, the students designed solutions for bringing back a sample from an asteroid. In 2013, the teams designed a campaign to land humans on the moons of Mars. In 2015, the students came up with a plan for establishing mining operations on an asteroid that had been placed into orbit around the moon.

This year, the students will be designing a base on the Moon for future deep space exploration by man.

The launch and supply station has been dubbed "Lunarport". The base is meant to act as a staging facility for heavy lift missions, where rockets from the Earth can be refueled before they move on to other targets deep within the solar system. Engineers from Orbital ATK, Blue Origin, and Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory facility, which is operated by Caltech, will all help the students design their proposals for the Lunarport.

Thirty two students from fourteen countries have been selected for the Challenge, from a total 806 applicants. There were more applicants for this year's challenge than all the three previous challenges put together.

The corporate sponsors for the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge include Airbus, Microsoft, Orbital ATK, Northrop Grumman, Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Schlumberger, and Honeybee Robotics.

Published Date: Mar 27, 2017 12:58 pm | Updated Date: Mar 27, 2017 12:58 pm