Mars Society Australia Competitions

Mars Society Australia Competitions

Mission Patch Design Competition
Mars Base Design Competition
Student Essay Competition

In the lead up to the NASA Spaceward Bound expedition to the Pilbara (10th-21st of July) and the Australian Mars Exploration Conference (23rd & 24th of July), Mars Society Australia is calling upon Australian students for their creativity and scientific expertise. A range of competitions for all ages of students from all states are now available. So if you have a flair for space exploration, inspirational thoughts about Mars base designs, ideas about future off-world colonies, concepts for sustainable energy management or simply how can we survive a future long-term space mission-then here is your chance.

Mars Expedition Patch Design Competition

NASA Spaceward Bound Australia is occurring from the 10th-21st of July and Australian secondary students can contribute by designing the official expedition patch that will be worn by all team members.

An expedition patch is a cloth badge that will be worn by members of this specific expedition and other people linked to the Spaceward Bound project. A new patch is used for each expedition, depending on its aims, objectives and location. NASA has been using patches since at least 1965. For each space flight that occurs, astronaut crews design unique, personalized mission patches to represent their mission. Patches include elements that describe the mission’s purpose, as well as the name of the space vehicle and the mission number. By looking at the expedition patch, people should see who is involved, what they are doing and how it all the science fits together.

Competition closes Friday 29th April, 2011

Visit the Mars Society website for more information, competition guidelines and entry form.

Design a Mars Base Competition (West Australian students only)

Humans are all about exploring, now it is time for the ultimate exploration... the red planet. Your task is to design and create a suitable Mars Base.

This could be in the form of a poster, or a diorama or even a model.  Please remember that it must be in a suitable format to be displayed in public. MSA and NASA would like to see that you have looked at the obvious scientific limitations and conditions of Mars, things like the atmosphere and temperature. We recommend that you check some reliable websites and books that show possible structures for living in space or on Mars as a guide. You may also wish to consider, who else lives and works in extreme conditions here on Earth? How are these structures designed, what could you modify for Mars? The aim of this competition is to be creative, but keep your Mars habitat realistic. The structure needs to use practical science and engineering to maintain a liveable area for your ‘new Martians’, the Mars explorers.

Register your entry before Friday 20th May, 2011 

Student Essay Competition (West Australian students only)

Space exploration is conducted "for all mankind". Secondary school students are invited to join this exciting adventure and share their idea on one of the following topics:

1. Earth and Mars: So similar and yet so different. What are the conditions for life and how do we look for them?
2. Extremophiles- fun, friendly and full of lots of good stuff for budding Space Scientists.
3. Space Robots- utilising robot technology to lay the groundwork for human exploration of the red planet.
4. Martian plants-would we, could we, should we?

5. Energy management: What can we learn for space missions, to apply back here on Earth?
6. Why should we develop space technologies and go to Mars?

This essay needs to be no more than 1500 words, correctly referenced and with suitable diagrams that enhance your content. The best judged essay will be recommended for presenting their information in a visually stimulating format to an audience of peers and scientists at the 11th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC) to be held at the University of Western Australia over the weekend of 23rd and 24th of July. The winner will receive free entry to AMEC, and a prize for their efforts and achievement along with a special presentation to be given during AMEC.

Competition closes Friday 29th April, 2011

For more information, competition guidelines and application forms visit

MSA recognises the support of the Gravity Discovery Centre, Gingin Observatory and Scitech in assisting with making these student initiatives a success through generous prize sponsorship and continuing commitment to human space exploration.