INTERNATIONAL SPACE CHALLENGE (ISC) 2022
This year ISC will be split into 2 categories – Starter and Open. The Starter’s category will be from ages 13 to 18, while the Open category will comprise of the 15 to 25 age group. This will allow for participants with all skill levels and knowledge to take part in ISC. We hope to spread awareness amongst the youth about how diverse the space sector can be and inspire them to learn more about the space and related industries through these changes.
THEME: SPACE WEATHER
Whilst everyone is familiar and has experienced the challenges pertaining to the weather on Earth, there is also weather in space. Space weather can be as or even more fickle than “Earth weather”. Similar to weather on earth, the sun is also responsible for changes in space weather.
Coronal mass ejections from the sun cause immense magnetic storms which alter the space weather surrounding the Earth. The changes in space weather that occur in the near-earth environment can cause adverse effects to both space and ground based technological equipment.
Examples of Effects Caused by Space Weather
- Aurora Borealis
- Disruption in telecommunication
- Loss of GPS
- Surges in electrical grids
- Radiation exposure to astronauts
- Damage to spacecraft
Design an experiment on board the Space Station to study the sun.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a huge space craft that houses astronauts and experiments built by 5 space agencies. It has been operational since November 2nd, 2000. Since then, about 3000 experiments have been conducted on board the ISS. These experiments are in the fields of Biology, Biotechnology, Technology Development, Education, Human Research, Physical Science and Earth and Space Science. The experiments are both conducted inside and mounted outside the ISS. Most of these experiments study the effects of microgravity.
Some examples of experiments on board the ISS include The Cold Atom Lab, Plants in Space, Rodent Studies and Protein Crystal Growth Studies.
Most of the activity in space weather is caused by radiation and plasma. The radiation in space can be caused by radial diffusion such as solar flares and local acceleration as seen in the Van Allen Belts. Radiation comes in the form of Alpha particles, Beta particles, Neutrons and Gamma rays. These radiations are categorized as ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. While non-ionizing radiation is safe and has numerous uses such as the microwave, radio communication, infrared and so on, ionizing radiation can be very harmful. Astronauts in orbit are exposed to 50mSv to 2000mSv doses of ionizing radiation. This is similar to getting 150 to 6000 X-rays. Beyond the lower earth orbit, Astronauts face the risk of being exposed to Galactic Cosmic Ray (GRC) and Solar Particle Events (SPE) which cause cancer and degenerative disease.
The Van Allen Belts are to space weather what clouds are to our normal weather. While they are a part of the system, and affect and get affected by different aspects of space weather, studying them also helps us to predict and better understand the nuances of near-earth space weather.
Named after James Van Allen, who along with his team discovered the radiation belts, these donut shaped belts are a region in space filled with energized particles that are captured by the Earth’s magnetic field. The inner belt is between 1000 to 8000 miles above Earth’s equator and the outer belt extends from 12,000 to 25,000 miles above the equator.
When strong solar activity and Interplanetary Magnetic Fields (IMF) interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, we are able to see the changes in the intensity of the Van Allen Belts. These radiation belts play the 1st line of defense against such activity by absorbing most of the energy and deflecting it off the surface of the Earth. Without the belts, we would be directly subjected to dangerous amounts of radiation from the Sun.
But during extreme cases, we still can face the effects of the solar activity which may cause blackouts and even fires in power lines, oil pipelines and more.
Hence, studying the Van Allen Belts to understand and predict space weather becomes very crucial in securing our assets against such adverse effects.
The Van Allen probes were a pair of satellites launched into orbit in August 2012 to record the changes in the radiation belts surrounding the Earth. The probes were designed to withstand extreme amounts of radiation as they travel in and out of the Van Allen belts. The probes after surviving successfully for six and a half years began their re-entry procedure last year.
The data from the twin probes has helped scientists better understand the changes that occur in the radiation belts and its effects on space weather. As opposed to previous belief, the data from the probes showed that 87% of the activity in the radiation belt is caused by local acceleration as opposed to radial diffusion caused by the Sun.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE CHALLENGE
An international annual challenge since 2007
The International Space Challenge (ISC) is one of the few platforms that connects young minds across the globe with industry experts, to nurture interest in space technology and its applications. It taps into the creativity of young minds to find new solutions and create a pathway for future commercialisation of these ideas.
Started in 2007 as the Singapore Space Challenge (SSC), it was a national space design competition to challenge student teams to leverage space technology. Since then, it has become a landmark platform with global reach. The SSC rebranded as the International Space Challenge (ISC) in 2021 with the aim of increasing diversity and to generate more accreditation from global organisations. Over 2000 youths have come through the doors of the challenge, drawing interest from over 20 countries around the world.
Held annually, the challenge calls for youths to work in teams to solve problems developed closely with the industry, derive theoretical models, design prototypes, and create simulations of their creative solutions. During the challenge, they hear from industry and subject matter experts, receive mentorship and gain access to technical tools to help them complete their proposal. Final entries are reviewed and judged by esteemed technical leaders from around the world. To date, youths have created solutions for ‘Designing a Lunar Rover’, ‘Solution for Space Debris’, ‘Design a satellite system for disaster mapping’ just to name a few.
All times are local Singapore Time (GMT+8).
Participating teams must satisfy the following conditions:
- Four participants per team
- Team members must have a valid email address
If you have yet to form a team of four members, you can submit your initial registration with the details of minimum one team member.
- Participants to be between 13 – 18 years old as of 31 Dec 2021
- Participants to be between 15 – 25 years old as of 31 Dec 2021
All teams to include either individual photos of members or a group photo.
1. Mission Report
- The mission report has to contain the following:
- Background information on the experiment including the reasons for choosing the topic
- Hypothesis statement and explanation
- Independent Variable
- Dependent Variable
- Extraneous Variables
- Controlled Variables
- Experiment Procedure
- Experiment Duration
- Predicted Results
- Predicted Challenges
The above stated are the minimum requirements; teams may choose to include more deliverables as they see fit.
Recommended 10 to 15 Pages max, in Times New Roman, Size 12, Single spaced.
2. Graphic Presentation & Scientific Poster
- Teams are required to include a 2D graphic presentation, soft copy, that includes the design of the experiment and apparatus used as part of a scientific poster (A1 size).
3. Video Presentation
- For the judges to better assess the concept, students must submit a video recording (not exceeding 15 minutes) of themselves presenting their report and explaining their project to the judges.
Contrary to common belief, experiments on board the ISS span a variety of scientific fields. Your experiment may be in the field of medicine, biomedical engineering, pharmaceuticals, material sciences, environmental engineering, etc. Please do note that you are not required to confine to the prior mentioned fields and are encouraged to do your project in a line of study that you are interested in and passionate about.
1. Mission Report
- Including but not limited to the scope of the mission, satellite design, instrumentation, data to be collected and re-entry procedures or otherwise, to prevent further space debris.
- The mission report must be in Times New Roman, size 12, single spaced and between 30 to 50 pages.
2. A Scaled Model or Graphic Model of the Satellite
- The graphic representation may be a 2D or 3D soft or hard copy.
3. Video Presentation
- For the judges to better assess the concept, students must submit a video recording (not exceeding 20 minutes) of themselves presenting their report and explaining their project to the judges.
4. A Graphic Simulation of the Mission (Optional)
Participants in the Starter Category stand a chance to win the following prizes:
- Up to 3 Distinction Awards
- Best Poster Award
Participants in the Open Category stand a chance to win the following prizes:
- Grand Prize: S$10,000
- 2 Distinction Awards
- 3 Merit Awards
- Young Entrepreneur Award
- Most Creative Award
In addition, to recognise the efforts of mentors in guiding the participants:
- Best Mentor Award
Prizes are subject to change.
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS
Sponsor and Supporting Organisations
isc 2022 sponsor
BE OUR sponsor
- Increase visibility for your organisation’s product and services via features on the digital marketing materials for the challenge.
- Anchor your company’s position amongst youths as a cutting-edge research and development organisation.
- Gain access to novel ideas and a highly engaged talent pool.
- Stay relevant to the youths and bee seen as a pillar of innovation for the region’s future.
past sponsors and supporting organisations
FAQ - GENERAL
Registration closes on 6 Aug 2021, 2359H (GMT+8).
ISC Starter Category is open to youth between the ages 13 – 18 years old (years 2003 – 2008).
ISC Open Category is open to youth between the ages 15 – 25 years old (years 1996 – 2006).
As long as you’re born in the respective years, you will be able to join, regardless of whether your birthday falls after the registration date.
Team size is fixed at 4 members in each team.
To form a team of 4, you can connect with other participants on the ISC Discord page (https://discord.gg/NTZtpBt)
and/or receive updates on ISC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InternationalSpaceChallenge)
Yes. In the registration form, under the field “Schools/Institutions”, indicate “Independent”.
Yes, this competition is open to both local and international students.
Of course! We welcome students from all backgrounds and encourage diversity.
Some of our previous teams had diverse participants which included business students that were able to provide great insights when it comes to financial analysis and projections.
Don’t worry about it being too challenging, it really is manageable because there will be guidance from the technical experts. You can also look for a teacher from your school as a mentor if you need extra guidance.
We do also occasionally share materials relating to ISC topic on our ISC Facebook Page:
(https://www.facebook.com/InternationalSpaceChallenge) so you can follow us there as well.
A Gmail account is not compulsory, you can use any email handler as long as it can receive and send out emails.
Total registration fee is SGD60 per team (4 participants).
We only accept payment via Bank Transfer, Cheque, or Paypal. Please state your invoice number and team name in the remarks.
Teams are not required to visit Singapore to complete the challenge. Submission of mandatory deliverable (mission report, video presentation and computer simulation) are to be done online via email. However, if teams would like to attend the Awards Ceremony or participate in any in-person events, flights and accommodations will be at the team’s expense. SSTL will be happy to provide assistance and advice.
25% – Technical Characteristics
30% – Creativity
15% – Effort towards Scientific Knowledge
15% – Scientific Poster
10% – Entry Submission (Presentation)
5% – Entry Submission (Report)
30% – Technical Characteristics
30% – Creativity
15% – Concept Relevance
10% – Financial Report
10% – Entry Submission (Presentation)
5% – Entry Submission (Report)
Attendance of workshops and seminars
Submission of computer simulation and/or mock-up
How heavy will the workload for SSC be? Is there someone that I can ask for the advice before I register?
Most of the deadlines for ISC are in December which coincides with the school holidays, so students will have sufficient time to work on it.
We can put you in contact with our past participants so that you can get a better idea. Some of them will also be in ISC Discord Chat and will be more than happy to share about their experience.
For Starter Category,
Mission report must not exceed 15 pages (including financial report e.g. financial analysis and projection, excluding annexes and supporting information)
For Open Category,
Mission report must not exceed 50 pages (including financial report e.g. financial analysis and projection, excluding annexes and supporting information)
It is not necessary to fill up all 15/50 pages – if you are able to present your ideas and project in less than 15/50 pages, the judges and technical experts will be happy with that as well.
The combined file size should not exceed 2GB.
This is an award given to the team that gives the best live presentation on stage to a closed-door panel of judges.
Details of how it will be conducted will be shared on a later date pending travel restrictions and the global COVID situation. Check the website, be on ISC’s Discord, Facebook to stay updated!
An email will be sent out to participants after the complete submission of key deliverable (i.e. mission report, presentation video, simulation video) to invite participation for this award. As we have limited slots available, it will be selected by first-come-first-serve basis.
The results will be released at the annual Awards Ceremony. Stay tuned for announcements on when the Awards Ceremony will be held!
All participants with submitted projects will receive a certificate of participation.
Yes, you are more than welcomed to join the competition again! Join the next one too!
Yes you can but unfortunately no refunds for the registration fee will be made.
While the topic of ISC might seem intimidating, it really is not! There will be lots of guidance along the way and it really is a great learning opportunity so we encourage you to finish the competition once you have registered.
FAQ - Singapore Space Challenge 2021
Will the introductory webinar briefing be uploaded online? How can I get all these details so that I can let my friends know about this as well?
The webinar will not be posted online, but send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send a private link for you to access it. Slides containing the detailed mission details will also be shared with registered participants via email.
In-situ resource utilization (ISRU) basically means using local materials to generate resources (e.g. water) that one needs for exploration. This may involve extracting materials such as soil from the moon.
You may but unique and novel ideas are encouraged as creativity plays a huge component (30%) in the judging criteria.
How specific do our mission report have to be? Will in-depth analysis of each component of the rover required?
It is up to you to decide how in-depth your mission report will be, depending on what you choose to focus on. You are free to focus on anything such as specific components, or even the external design of the rover.
We will also assume that your rover can launch and land on the moon so you do not have to worry about launching and landing aspects.
What is the maximum size and weight of the rover? Can I add additional features (e.g. camera) onto it?
The maximum size and weight of the rover is 1M x 1M x 1M and 60 kg. You are free to add any additional features you deem beneficial to the rover. Any component that extends beyond 1M has to be collapsible.
It is up to your imagination! Do take note that there might be more challenges if you want to send your rover to the dark side of the moon.
Any communication system that will be able to send signals to pre-existing satellites on Earth or even deep space networks will do. How often it send signals is up for you to decide.
SSC participants will have special access to industrial training, technical workshops, meet-the-expert sessions organized by SSTL.
The sign-up links for these sessions will be sent through email at a later date.
Virtual workshops will be held from Oct to first week of Dec 2020 with 1 session happening every 1-2 weeks.
Participants will be provided with online materials and attend theoretical lessons for the software that they will be using, as well as engage in hands-on activities. These workshops will be conducted online with instructors and facilitators to guide you.
Yes, you will have access to the software in the duration of the challenge. We will be teaching you how to use AWS Robomaker but you are also free to use any software that you deem useful for your project.
Meet-the-expert sessions are one-to-one virtual consultation sessions specially arranged for teams to seek advice from technical experts. Teams will have to ‘book’ a timing with their mentors through a link that will be sent at a later date.
Depending on the travel situation, you and your team are most welcomed to come to Singapore for the Award Ceremony. Otherwise, we will send the prizes over to you!
Please feel free to approach your senior/teacher/professor to act as your mentor if you need extra guidance. Do note that each team is only allowed to have 1 mentor though.
Mentors are seniors/teachers/professors that provide extra guidance for the teams. They are to be self-sourced by the teams and teams can arrange meetings to consult their mentors depending on their own schedules.
For the technical experts provided by SSC, all teams will be given four virtual consultation sessions that will last around 20 mins each. We will be setting up a system for you to ‘book’ a timing with the technical experts at a later date.
There are already so many rover solutions available out there. What exactly does this challenge expect from the participants?
Moon missions will definitely gain more traction in the future and while there are many rover solutions out there, we believe it is necessary to explore new novel rover solutions that push the boundaries of creativity.
Unfortunately, we are unable to do so at the moment. However, there are always opportunities to meet with the right people through SSC and potentially fabricate them in the future.
Will there be more opportunities for the participants to mingle, study and collaborate even after the challenge?
We do hope that participants stay in contact after the competition. Outside of SSC, we host seminars, talks and networking events where SSC participants might be invited to. We also have many events and programmes targeted at youths which are additional opportunities for you to join and reconnect with past participants.
Singapore Space Challenge 2021
Mr Cheong Chee Hoo, CEO, DSO National Laboratories
Mr Tim Linn, Chief System Engineer, Lockheed Martin Space System Company
Mr Tomotaka Takahashi, Founder & CEO, ROBO-GARAGE
Grand Prize Winner
THE RANGE ROVERS (New Zealand)
LUNA RECON (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
SEDS_LUNARBOT (Sri Lanka)
HITCHHIKERS (Sastra University, India)
MUNAR ROVER (Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore)
NEXUS AURORA (Belgium, United States, Canada)
eXulan (Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, India)
MR LIM TOU BOON (Mentor of HELIO-D4, Cambodia)
MERLUNAR (Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore)
Women in STEM
ASTEROIDS (Crescent Girls’ School, Singapore)
BRONCO (Sri Lanka)
QUASAR (Cedar Girls’ Secondary School, Singapore)
LUNARAGE (American School, Singapore)
LUNARBOTICS (United Arab Emirates)
LUNARTICS (Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, India)
SAILOR MOONIES (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente, Mexico)
SPACE NUTS (Eunoia Junior College, Singapore)
MR PARITAT THEANTHONG (National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand)
- Introductory Webinar
- Amazon Web Services Robomaker Workshops
- Industry Sharing by GEOshare, Ms Lindsay Papsidero
- Industry Sharing by SpaceIL, Mr Yonatan Winetraub
- Research Sharing by Dr Frankie Zhu
- Industry Sharing by MyelinS, Mr Zied Tayeb, and Space Industries, Mr Joshua Letcher
- Meet the Experts