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North America


Space Design Competitions - also known as SDC's - are focused around aerospace engineering and space settlement.

The provide students in the USA and Canada with the unique opportunity to assume the roles you would find in an aerospace company, be mentored by industry professionals, and work on space settlement and infrastructure design briefs that will exist in the real world in the not too distant future!

By participating in the Regional SDC events that InSimEd run, students have the opportunity to progress through to the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) Finals - held in the last weekend of July annually, at the Kennedy Space Centre!



SpaceSet competitions are set 30-50 years in the future, in a era when interplanetary colonization is being planned and delivered by the private sector.

In the SDC canon, there is an intra-planetary philanthropic organization - the Foundation Society - responsible for investing in new space infrastructure, stations, and space settlements.

Each year, the Foundation Society releases multiple Requests For Proposals (RFP's) - standard industry documentation that provide the requirements for the next piece of space hardware to be developed in mankind's expansion into the solar system.

After students form fictional aeronautical engineering companies, they respond to the RFP, producing a detailed design brief that outlines how they can meet the requirements of the Foundation Society. Depending upon the competition specifics, students either submit their design brief as a written proposal, or as a business brief, to a panel of judges sourced from industry.

The student company that is deemed to best meet the requirements by the judging panel is awarded the contract, thereby winning the contest!


To be invited to the ISSDC Finals at the Kennedy Space Centre, students must compete in their Regional SDC event, which comprises the following rounds:

  1. Qualifying Round: students teams receive a RFP, and have approximately 4 months to prepare a written proposal of their design brief. This work is completed at school / in their home location, with judging occurring remotely.

  2. Regional Finals: teams that progress through the Qualifying Round are invited to their Regional Final, to prepare a business presentation of a new design brief, working from a new RFP. Regional Finals are weekend-long events, that bring together hundreds of students into large complex teams.

  3. International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) Finals: Champion teams from each Regional Finals are invited to participate at the prestigious ISSDC Finals, held annually at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in late July. There, they join other Regional Finalists from around the globe in working on a new, more challenging design brief.


Due to the the challenging nature of SpaceSet competitions, InSimEd can only accept students who are of high-school age (i.e. 14 - 18 years old).

InSimEd-managed Space Design Competitions are also only open to students in the USA and Canada.

If you live in another country, and want to participate, please contact InSimEd. There is a global network of SpaceSet providers, and we will be more than happy to connect you to your correct Region!



To provide the best possible experience for students in the USA and Canada, Space Design Competitions are broken into four Regions:

1. Western SDC

All students studying in schools location on Pacific and Mountain Time (and yes, Arizona)

2. Central SDC

All students studying in a school located on Central Time

3. East Coast SDC

All students studying in a school located on Eastern Time

4. Canadian SDC

All Canadian students - from Pacific to Maritime

We recognize that there are always going to be slight exceptions to this (for example, border communities that follow differing time zones). If this applies to your school or community, please contact us. Our goal is to be as flexible as possible to support all students everywhere!

To participate in a Space Design Competition, please see the competitions running this year!

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