Roadmap to Space Settlement 2017 International Student Art Contest

In our Roadmap to Space Settlement 2017 International Student Art Contest, the National Space Society (NSS) is looking for student artists to create ORIGINAL illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should REALISTICALLY illustrate one of this year’s two themes.

This year’s themes:

1. People Living and Working in Space Settlements
2. Medicine and Medical Manufacturing in Space

All full-time students at any grade level between the ages of 13 and 25 are eligible. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2017.

Example of the first theme, People Living and Working in Space Settlements:

Mars from a Young Perspective
Image info

Example of the second theme, Medicine and Medical Manufacturing in Space:

Pioneers of the Cosmos
Image info

See contest details.

Winners of 2016 NSS Space Settlement Student Art Contest Announced

NSS has opened a new website gallery for the 2016 NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement International Student Art Contest.

The Grand Prize winning entry, entitled “Pioneers of the Cosmos,” paints a picture of hope for the future of humanity. Successful habitation of an orbital space settlement and propagation of the human species in space has been accomplished. The foreground of this image reveals an intimate family setting after the birth of a new baby. Neptune, reflected in a light sail, and its moon Triton are visible in the background through the large window of the birthing room.

Pioneers of the Cosmos

“Pioneers of the Cosmos” is a digital painting by Adrianna Allen, a student from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI, where she is working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Medical Illustration. She has a website at

The NSS 2015 International Student Art Contest

Arcturus Space Settlement
2014 Grand Prize Winner:
Arcturus Space Settlement by Bogdan Alexandru Cionca

The National Space Society is hosting the 2015 Roadmap to Space Settlement International Student Art Contest for students aged 13-25. We are looking for original, photo-realistic illustrations of daily life in a space settlement located anywhere in our solar system. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to visualize their ideas of what humanity’s future in space may look like.

The contest’s Grand Prize winner will receive a number of prizes including:

  • Publication on the cover of the National Space Society magazine Ad Astra
  • An award certificate at the annual International Space Development Conference and complimentary registration to the 2015 International Space Development Conference in Toronto, Canada
  • One year complimentary membership in the National Space Society, including a subscription to Ad Astra magazine
  • Five complimentary copies of the Ad Astra magazine the art work is featured on

Additional prizes will be awarded to the First Prize and Honorable Mention winners in the contest.

Submissions are due by March 16th. For complete contest details, see 2015 Roadmap to Space Settlement International Student Art Contest

Roadmap to Space Settlement 2014 International Student Art Contest

The National Space Society (NSS) is looking for student artists to create illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should REALISTICALLY illustrate one of this year’s two themes: Asteroid Settlement or Building a Space Settlement.

1. Asteroid Settlement

(Milestone 18)

“Asteroid Settlement” challenges students to design a space settlement on or in an asteroid or several asteroids. Asteroids can be located in many places in our solar system and can have many different types of orbits. Some have near-planet orbits, like those that regularly pass by Earth or Mars. Others stay in the asteroid belt. Asteroids also offer valuable resources and can be used as mining installations. To learn more about asteroids click here.

2. Building a Space Settlement

(Milestones 13, 17, 18, or 19)

“Building a Settlement” challenges students to think about how humans will build either orbital space settlements or surface settlements that are on or beneath the surface of the Moon or Mars. What tools and equipment will be used? How will astronauts do the physical building? Will scaffolding be needed? Then, students should take their ideas and interpret them into original works of visual art that depict the actual construction of their settlement.

All full-time students at any grade level between the ages of 13 and 25 are eligible. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2014. Original artwork from entries submitted to the NSS/NASA Space Settlement Design Contest (including previous years) is especially encouraged.

See our contest web pages for information about prizes and submission requirements. Below is an example of art work that illustrates both of this year’s themes in a single image.

Bryan Versteeg,
Image: Bryan Versteeg,

Newly Illustrated Versions of the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement Now Available

A newly illustrated version of the National Space Society publication Milestones to Space Settlement: An NSS Roadmap is now available in three new formats from

(1) A free downloadable PDF edition [6 MB]

(2) a free online full-screen flip-book edition

(3) a quality full-color magazine-style printed edition for $9.95 (think Father’s Day?)

Some new and striking art work appears for the first time in these new editions of the NSS Roadmap. Let these artists show you some of the possible paths to space development and settlement. These new editions provide additional ways to read and distribute this material to help promote the NSS Vision.

The NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement discusses milestones to be reached for the settlement of four destinations: the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and orbital space settlements. The Roadmap takes no stand on which may or should come first but supports all four destinations.

As originally announced in Ad Astra magazine, this Roadmap was adopted by the NSS Board of Directors in 2012, updating the original NSS Roadmap published in 2000. On May 24th the 2013 International Space Development Conference will feature a Roadmap Track and Press Conference about the Roadmap.

NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement Student Art Contest

The National Space Society (NSS) is looking for student artists to create illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should realistically illustrate at least one of the Milestones in the Roadmap document.

All students at any grade level between the ages of 10 and 25 are eligible. Submitted artwork is intended to be used by NSS to promote a future of humans living and working in space and may be used on the NSS website, Ad Astra magazine, and/or a future calendar.

The due date is April 22, 2013. More information.

Your Very Own Personal Space Program

By Michael Mackowski

There are many ways folks express their interest in the space program. Some space enthusiasts read everything they can find and often have a large book collection. Some people accumulate souvenirs and autographs. Photos, patches, and pins are popular collectibles. Scale models can be another way to bring the space program to life in your home or office.

I have been inspired by space exploration since I was a youngster. Prior to finishing school and entering a career in aerospace engineering, my participation in the space program was limited to building scale models of the vehicles that were leaving the planet. Actually, I have never stopped building models of spacecraft, even while I build them for a living as an engineer. Like engineering, I find that modeling is just another expression of one’s creativity.

Over the years I have been participating in a network of other hobbyists with similar interests. What I have found is that many of these people, while being hobbyists and craftsmen in terms of their model building, are also passionate about space. My situation is a bit unique in that space is both my hobby and career. Most people who are passionate about space have other, usually non-technical careers. So one way they can feel closer to space exploration is by building small replicas of the hardware that makes it possible.

Certainly this sort of passion is the root of many hobbies. Military history buffs build models of tanks and fighter jets. Auto racing enthusiasts build race car models. Would be sailors rig up miniature ships and sailboats. People collect or paint miniature horses because they cannot afford to own a real horse. Airplane fans who cannot afford lessons or a plane can have a shelf full of models. Frustrated astronaut candidates build Apollo lunar modules and space shuttles. It’s not the same, but for many people it may be as close as you will get. It’s your own personal space program.

Enthusiasts want a piece of the space program they can see up close, hold in their hand, and relate to three dimensionally. Books and videos and internet sites are flat and virtual. A model is real and fills space. And you built it yourself. That’s why model building is more fulfilling than just collecting or buying pre-built souvenir models. You are now a rocket scientist, only scaled down, and with simpler technology. You have combined art with technology. You feel more a part of the movement, a part of the collective that is moving out to space. Through model building, you are more than an observer. You have made a statement, that by building this miniature monument to space exploration, you are supporting it, and proclaiming it to whomever enters your hobby room or office or wherever you chose to display your work.

If you can’t be an astronaut or be an engineer in the space industry, you can have your own little private miniature space program, and thus pay homage to whatever past or future off-planet venture that inspires you.

In that way, maybe it will inspire someone else, and the movement grows by one more.

Michael Mackowski is a member of the Phoenix chapter of the National Space Society, and an engineers at Orbital Sciences Corporation in Chandler Arizona.

Earth Illuminated: ISS Time-lapse Photography

We recommend switching to HD full screen for this video if your bandwidth allows.

From high above the Earth, the International Space Station (ISS) provides a unique vantage point to view our home planet. Stunning time-lapse photography of cities, aurora, lightning and other sights are seen from orbit. Famed astronomer Galileo imagined these views from space and now through the technological marvel of the space station, we can see them for ourselves. For more time-lapse imagery, visit the NASA website:
From here, NASA invites you to download videos or stills to enjoy or perhaps even create an ISS time-lapse video production of your own.

What does it feel like to fly over planet Earth?

A time-lapse created by science educator James Drake, who compiled 600 publicly available images taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line) and the stars of our galaxy.

We recommend viewing full screen and then re-setting to high definition. Beautiful!