The International Space Settlement Design Competition is an industry simulation for high school students, set in the future.

The Competition emulates, as closely as possible, the experience of working as a member of an aerospace industry proposal team.

SpaceSet competitions are set in a futuristic society where humanity has expanded into the solar system. Each competition cycle involves the design and development of the next iterative expansion from Earth – from the very first settlement <link the term first settlement to the web-page> in earth orbit through to the colonization of the asteroid belt.

Participants enter the SpaceSet environment, and discover a rich, immersive world – ‘futuristic’ technology extrapolated from today’s cutting edge, sub-contractors that specialize in off-world equipment, and existing inter-system infrastructure that they can leverage in their designs. This canon is annually incremental, meaning that each settlement is available for use in the next competition scenario; the overall canon refreshes roughly on a five-year cadence.

Each new settlement is sponsored by the Foundation Society, a global body responsible for delivering humanity to the far reaches of space. Each year, the Society releases multiple Request For Proposals (RFPs) – a series of requirements that outline the next space settlement they wish to develop.


Private companies and contractors are then invited to respond to this RFP – researching the problem, designing a solution, and delivering their vision for the next human settlement in form of either a forty-page business proposal or a 50 slide design presentation. The Society is then able to review competing proposals and designs, and select the winning design for construction!

SpaceSet competitions are all about students preparing one of these proposals — a response to a request to build a space settlement.

Participants are no longer students when they compete in SpaceSet; they become engineers, scientists, and executives in NorthDonning Heedwell, one of the most successful aerospace engineering consortiums in history.

Participants adopt roles within the company – from President, through Department Heads, and to technical staff within each Department. They are encouraged to extrapolate from today’s cutting-edge technologies – defining what may be plausibly feasible in this futuristic environment.

Teams can range in size from a pair, through to a maximum of twelve; otherwise, there are no restrictions on composition. Different skills, ages, genders, experiences, and even geographies can all be beneficial!

Students can participate through regional competitions established all across the globe.