UK Space Design Competition

 

13 November 2023

The UK Space Design Competition is a one-day science, engineering and business challenge designed as a simulation of life in industry. Mr Rivers (Head of Physics) took 12 of our budding STEM pupils from Lower Sixth (Year 12) to the regional heat at Oxford Brookes University.

Students from multiple schools combine in large, industry-style teams to form an engineering company and take on the task of designing a crewed space settlement. The task varies each year but the aim is to win the contract to build a settlement somewhere in the solar system and get through to the national final!

Rebecca in Lower Sixth (Year 12) wrote about her experience of the day.

On Saturday, 12 pupils participated in the UK Space Design Competition. We were joined by two other schools to design a settlement on the moon that served as a repair facility for Harvester robots (that mined for minerals in the lunar regolith).

Pupils joined one of the four departments: human factor, system operation, structural design and finance. Each group collaborated with students from other schools to tackle the Request for Proposal. I joined the system operation team and was tasked with researching about pressurising the lunar settlement as well as airlock equipment build safe entry points.

Later in the day, I also helped with calculating the energy and water consumption of the settlement which I found quite interesting and really gave me insight into how multidisciplinary a company is. I was able to speak to different departments to gather data. Here are just some of the jobs pupils in our team were doing: researching ways to grow crops using hydroponics, solid and liquid waste disposal, temperature regulation, radiation protection, tracking robots and staff with biometrics, minimising costs and supporting the crews’ welfare.

We all learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the day!

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