eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge 2013

eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge Logo

The eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) 2013 Academic Innovation Challenge is a university level challenge designed to engage and retain students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The competition is intended to link with senior and graduate-level design curricula that emphasize hands-on design, research, development, and manufacture of functional prototypical subsystems that enable habitation-related functionality for space exploration missions. NASA will directly benefit from the challenge by sponsoring the development of innovative habitation-related concepts and technologies from universities, which will result in innovative ideas and solutions that could be applied to exploration habitats. The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Habitation Systems Deep Space Habitat (DSH) project will offer multiple X-Hab awards of $10K - $49K each to design and produce functional products of interest to the DSH project (see topic list) as proposed by university teams according to their interests and expertise. The prototypes produced by the university teams will be integrated onto an existing NASA built operational habitat prototype (examples shown in Figure 1). X-Hab proposals will have a Notice of Intent and proposal phase, where down-selection will determine which projects will be funded. X-Hab university teams will deliver their products in May-June 2013 to be integrated in the FY13 DSH habitat configuration. Universities may collaborate together on a Project Team.


Proposals will be accepted from faculty who are U.S. citizens and currently teach 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 (if applicable) and Fellowship Program, or other US accredited university. Multi-discipline, multi-departmental, and/or multi-institutional teaming collaborations are highly encouraged.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and other minority serving educational institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals from women, members of underrepresented minorities groups, and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

Proposal Information



8 Mar 2012Date of Announcement / Release of RFP
4 Apr 2012Notice of Intent Due
7 Apr 2012Questions for online TIM Due
11 Apr 2012Online Technical Interchange Meeting - updated 04/25/12
2 May 2012Proposal Due Date
30 May 2012Award Announcements


Previous Challenges