Princess Margaret Secondary School team members after learning their team won NASA’s prestigious design competition.

Surrey students win NASA prize

Teens’ team wins first place in gruelling space competition.

Students from Princess Margaret Secondary have become the first Canadian team to win the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

The teens have qualified for the contest for the last three years, but this year they became the first Canadian team to bring home top prize.

The ISSDC Aug. 2-6 brought together high school students from around the world, among them: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, India, Pakistan, United States, Wales and the United Kingdom.

This year, Princess Margaret Secondary students partnered with schools from Florida, Wales and India under the company name Grumbo Aerospace to take first place in this gruelling competition.

The competition takes place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The 20 schools that qualified for the international finals are formed into four “companies” whose task this year was to design a settlement on Earth’s moon to accommodate more than 10,000 people.

Two primary factors in their design were to develop and increase manufacturing capabilities on the moon, and to develop a tourism industry that would help defray the operating costs of the settlement.

After three intensive days of brainstorming, calculations, arguments, cost analyses and trade studies, the “companies” pitched their 50-page, 35-slide proposals to a panel of nine judges comprised of aerospace engineers and retired astronauts. After a 35-minute presentation, the panel scrutinizes the work with piercing, direct and blunt questions that challenge the science underlying their proposal.

Students not only worked with some of the brightest minds from other countries, but they also had the opportunity to work alongside current NASA aerospace engineers. Princess Margaret students had as a mentor Dr. Jack Bacon, often called the “new Carl Sagan.”

Two Princess Margaret students received specific honours. Alice Ho was appointed president of Grumbo Aerospace and Ramansh Chhabra received one of four Dick Edwards Leadership Awards.

The other team members were Ishmeet Singh, Zoubhair Moosuddee, Harinder Khakh, Gurleen Brar, Mariyam Ali, Ramansh Chhabra, Aaaqil Hassan, Taran Gill and Hassan Sheikh.

Students share their success with team mentor Sumit Rathore of Simon Fraser University and Princess Margaret physics teacher Joe Sihota.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Crews vacuum ‘murder hornets’ out of Washington nest, first-ever in U.S.

The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about the size of a basketball

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Staff members at Surrey Pretrial test positive for COVID-19

Ministry of Public Safety says employees tested positive between Oct. 18 and 23

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Upgrades underway at the Sunnyside Reservoir, adjacent to Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, raised concerns among some residents Tuesday (Oct. 20), however, stewards of the park say everything went off without a hitch. (Tracy Holmes photo)
‘No issue’ with South Surrey reservoir drainage, despite trail user concerns: urban forest steward

Forest visitor taken aback by ‘unprecedented flooding’ of trails

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read