Canterbury College representatives travelled to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas last month to compete in the international space settlement design competition.
The team received a runners up award and team member Hunter Cullen was also presented with a leadership award.
The six Canterbury representatives, James Asher, Zac O’Reilly, Hamish Kabel-Pluck, Hunter Cullen, Richard Bahrett and Mark Huth, joined with teams from both America and Argentina to form Vulture Aviation Company.
They were the smallest team having only 38 competitors with others having about 50 team members.
The teams had 36 hours to produce a design of a space settlement that would forma a base on Mars to lead to more terraforming.
The base had to hold 20,000 people and 5000 for transport, this was all created with the international teams – complete with language barriers and different cultural management styles.
Compared to the Australian competition, where they only had 26 hours, this challenge was “a breeze.”
Year 12 student Zac O’Reilly said the regional and qualifying rounds put the team in good stead for the international round of competition.
“We were able to reference past designs and use that knowledge to our advantage,” he said.
Co-founder of the International Space Settlement Design competition Dr Anita Gale, presented Hunter Cullen with the Dick Edwards Award for Exceptional Leadership.
“I was so tired I could barely stay awake (when the announcement was made),” he said.
“I didn’t think I had done anything extraordinary but someone noticed and I guess they thought I deserved it.”
Hunter said they were expecting the competition to be difficult but they worked well in a team an things ran smoothly.
“As well as the cultural experience I think it was a lot of fun working in a team so big and with people who all shared a similar passion,” he said.
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