Q: Who can provide a signed confirmation for the implementation of X-Hab 2021 Challenge? Would the person be the department chair or anyone else?
A: All proposals must be submitted though the proposing institution’s office of sponsored projects.
Q: May adjunct faculty serve as the principal investigator?
A: Yes. The principal investigator may be an adjunct faculty member. The PI must be a U.S. citizen and currently teaching an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited engineering senior or graduate design, industrial design, or architecture curriculum teaming course at a university affiliated with the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, or other US accredited university.
Q: May as non-US citizen serve as a co-principal investigator?
A: Yes. Non-US citizens may participate in the XHAB program in any appropriate capacity except for principal investigator. Participation by citizens of “controlled countries”, as defined in Part 768.1.d of the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Administration Regulations (EAR), is prohibited.
Q: Does the prize have to be a one year long course involving students senior undergrad or grad? Can it be one semester one? Can it be instead an independent study, or research team of faculty and students?
A: The proposal must be led by a faculty member who is an U.S. citizen and is currently teaching in an ABET accredited engineering program. The majority of the students involved in the team must be upper division undergraduates or graduate students enrolled in and receiving credit in the design course taught by the faculty lead. A major feature of this program is that students are in the critical path. The project milestones dictate that the work be carried out over the course of a full academic year.
Q: What are the content and format requirements for the following two appendages within the proposal? - Mandatory – Confirmation of support for the proposal must include signed documents from the university faculty, collaborators, and their potential sponsor(s) to ensure their respective commitment to the project. Mandatory – Include a signed confirmation from the university, stating that the M2M X-Hab 2021 Academic Innovation Challenge will be implemented during the 2020-2021 academic year and will comply with all pedagogical requirements.
A: There are no specific content or format requirements beyond what is outlined in the solicitation.
Q: Can a project last more than one year?
A: The solicitation contains required milestones and deliverables that span one academic year. The Principal Investigator may choose to continue their work after the completion of the contract. Involvement of the NASA provided mentor past the completion of the project is at the discretion of the NASA mentor.
Q: Would the prize fund the salaries of the student/faculty teams or only the materials for built prototypes?
A: It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to develop and propose a budget that will provide adequate resources to conduct the proposed work. These resources may include but not necessarily be limited to direct labor, subcontracts, consultants, equipment, supplies, travel, indirect costs and other items. Part of the review process will be the evaluation of how the proposed budget provides adequate resources for the proposed work as well as the alignment of the budget with the overall objectives of the program.
Q: Can we select a NASA/industry team or are there already defined interested parties?
A: Multi-discipline, multi-departmental, and/or multi-institutional teaming collaborations are highly encouraged. Involvement of NASA and/or industry personnel as mentors to the student team is allowable. For awarded efforts, NASA will provide a technical point of contact that will interact with the group throughout the project.
Q: Is there room for questioning the mission/objectives and therefore research gaps and proposing alternatives? Or a class that may explore mission ideas themselves?
A: This is encouraged and accommodated in the modified systems engineering process built into the X-Hab schedule. The first milestone is a System Definition review that defines the scope and the concepts to be further developed. It often requires tailoring of project expectations and further explanation of mission goals. X-Hab encourages the creative input of academia to complement approaches that may already be in place at NASA.
Q: What might be your stance on proposals that involve aspects of one of the mentioned projects, but do not focus on them?
A: Proposals that directly address the areas listed in the solicitation will be given priority consideration. Proposals that address other areas in direct support of the NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Division will also be considered.