2017 BIG Idea Competition Announced

2017 BIG Idea Competition Announced


On Friday, July 22, 2016, NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) announced the 2017 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge, a university-level design competition that calls for teams of 3-5 students to submit robust proposals for in-space assembly of spacecraft – particularly tugs, propelled by solar electric propulsion (SEP) – that transfer payloads from low earth orbit (LEO) to a lunar distant retrograde orbit (LDRO).

The BIG Idea Challenge is sponsored by NASA’s Game Changing Development Program (GCD) and managed by NIA.  Based on a review of the proposals due on November 30, 2016, four (4) teams will receive a $6,000 stipend to facilitate participation in the BIG idea forum where they will present their technical papers and concepts to a panel of NASA judges. The 2017 BIG Idea Forum will be held at NASA Langley Research Center, February 15-16, 2017.  The winning team will receive offers to participate in paid internships with the GCD team at LaRC, giving students an opportunity to further develop their concept under the mentorship of NASA experts.

Full competition details, including design constraints and submission guidelines, can be found on the BIG Idea Website (

NIA POC:  Shelley Spears;; 757-325-6732

NASA LaRC:  Mary E. Wusk;; 757-864-3830



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