Author: <span>Bethan Mann</span>


SSEF Mourns the Passing of CEO Anita Gale

SSEF are saddened to hear of the passing of Anita Gale, co-founder of ISSDC, over the weekend. Anita spent her career inspiring young people around the world to pursue careers in science and space, and helped countless young girls discover their potential in technical fields. Anita will be greatly missed and her legacy will continue to have a lasting impact on young people for years to come.

To read about her life, please click here




ISSDC Team Announcement 2024


We are thrilled to announce that the following students have been selected to represent the EU at the International Space Settlement Design Competition to be held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in July 2024. Congratulations to the selected students.

In alphabetical order:

Alessandro Salina

Alexandru Mereuta

David Díaz

Goncalo Domingos

Juan Barbas

Leonore Mira

María Asenjo

Pablo Gutiérrez

Sarmiza Badelita

Sebastião Mendonça

Tiago Bastos

Vlad Glavan



  1. Sara Sion
  2. Claudia Sinziana Balaceanu
  3. Vlad Pagnejer
  4. Pablo Pérez Mosqueda


Thank you to each and every participant, teacher, parent, judge, alumni, and volunteer who took part and helped with EUSDC this year…. we couldn’t do this without you! Congratulations again to the selected ISSDC team.


ROSDC landed in Cluj for the first time and…

ROSDC landed in Cluj for the first time and students had a blast!


This October saw the first Cluj regional of the Romanian Space Design Competition take place at “Avram Iancu” Theoretical High School. The day saw over 80 students create designs for a lunar based settlement and present their designs to a panel of judges including: SSEF Junior Programmes Director Corinne Barker, Salad Box CEO Alina Covșă, software engineer Alexandru-Mihail Crăciun, and UBB lecturer Ioan-Gabriel Mircea.

After a welcome briefing from the organisation team in Cluj, Iona and Danielle, SSEF representative Corinne, and ROSDC organiser Adrian, students received technical training from ISSDC alumni Anastasia and Alex. The 3 companies, Kepler Automation, Earhart Advanced Industries and Olympus Mons Trading Company then headed off to their company headquarters to elect their presidents and vice presidents. Companies were all assigned company mentors who spent their day working alongside the company’s leadership to help guide the company through the competition.

It was finally time for students to get working on their designs. Companies brainstormed their initial ideas through the morning and were able to make key design decisions to be able to meet later requirements in the RFP. Fuelled up on pizzas for lunch the companies spent their afternoon workshopping their ideas and creating engaging and creative presentations ready for the judges to review. It was great to see the teams working so well together and collaborating on their ideas to fulfil the requirements of the RFP.

After a productive day working hard to get their designs finalised, it was time for the companies to present their ideas to the judges. All 3 presentations did an excellent job of clearly communicating the company’s vision for the settlement and showcased their original, innovative ideas in a professional manner. All 3 teams did a fantastic job, but as always there can only be one winner. After much deliberation the judges announced the winning company as Kepler Automation, a massive well done to all the company members.

The work produced by all participants throughout the day was of an extremely high standard and left both the judges and volunteers impressed by the quality of their ideas and the level of detail in their presentations. 12 students have been selected to join 12 students from the Bucharest regional at the EUSDC finals, which will take place online in March. We can’t wait to see what ideas and designs students create on the day.

ROSDC is powered by SSEF and ROSPIN. The ROSDC thrives thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers who work incredibly hard to help make the events happen. The Cluj regional was also generously supported by Atelierul de Pizza, who kindly donated 40 pizzas for the students lunch, and Fabrit global. ROSDC would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and we are immensely grateful for their continued donations.

Corinne Barker


ISSDC Winners!


Huge congratulations to the EU team who were part of Dougeldyne, the winning company at this year's ISSDC. The ISSDC is a three day event held at the Kennedy Space Center, and the students work in companies consisting of 50-60 students; this year some of the team were working online, which adds to the difficulty of communicating effectively - so to be in the winning team is reflective of an incredibly difficult task carried out amazingly well.

The EU team consisted of the following members (in alphabetical order!):

Adrian Turtulea
Alessandro Salina
Alexandru Teodorescu Druc
Anastasia Ioana Paraschiv
Enrique Jiménez Molina
Guilherme Abrantes Leal
Lorena Terrón Egido
Maria João Lopes
Pablo Asenjo Gonzalez
Pablo Gutierrez Izquierdo
Rita Ferrão Baptista Fernandes
Sara Sofia dos Reis Filipe

Well done to all of you, and thank you to the accompanying teachers Mónica Juárez Jiménez, Óscar Partida and Ricardo Mota, and also the wonderful parents who made this trip of a lifetime possible.




EDITOR’s NOTE: The blog, below, is by  Nathan Besch & Yannis Kühn, FRSDC 2023 organisers and EU/ISSDC alumni. This is their tale of how they have morphed from competitors, into EU volunteers, into organisers of the French SDC, gaining excellent practical management work-experience along the way. The perfect English is their own: sub-headings were added, to aid anyone reading in their third or fourth language . 

ENJOY this insight and glimpse behind the scenes. 

Use our volunteer’s form here, if you want to explore the opportunities to be a volunteer. 

Email the UKSDC team if you have experiences, insights, funny stories or awesome memories to blog.



The Nathan & Yannis French Space Design Blog: Episode 1

How our we’ve shaped, and been shaped by, experiences in SDC competitions since 2020

We are Nathan Besch and Yannis Kühn, the two future organisers of the first French National Space Design Competition (FRSDC). We’re keen to embed the French competition into the SDC universe, so we decided to let you know a bit more about us and our experiences with Space Design Competitions. We’ve been competing participants; we’ve been volunteers and now we’re taking on the role of organisers. Here is the story of our pathway, which might inspire you to volunteer, too.

NATHAN’S TALE:  When I was 16, I joined the very first European Space Design Competition. It took place in 2020 and was qualified for the International SDC of the same year. These were eye-opening experiences, that transformed my passion for space into a concrete project for the first time in my life; a project that I got to share with space enthusiasts from all over the world. The fact that both competitions were online made these first experiences homely and comfortable, (albeit that the frustrations of not being in-person at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for the World Finals were,  as you could imagine, fully felt.)

Naturally, I signed up for the 2021 edition, at which point Yannis joined me in the European edition.

In 2021, I was elected team President. Thanks to an amazing team, full of brilliant people, we won! That meant a dozen people from our team were chosen to participate in the International SDC including Yannis, myself and our friends Thomas Schlesser and Mathilde Dziechiarz. Of the four of us, only Yannis was able to go in-person and experience the competition at the NASA Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, which I’m sure he’ll be delighted to describe to you in the next paragraph.

YANNIS’ TALE:  In spite of COVID19-induced restrictions, I was indeed one of the lucky two Europeans that made it to the US, in-person, that year. It was like a dream come true; not only coming to the US for the first time but to the Kennedy Space Center as well. Doing the competition where the cornerstone of space history was laid, was truly a life-goal opportunity that I’m encouraging every participant to aim to experience at least once. After participating in an online EUSDC. I found that the in-person experience increased my enthusiasm even more: it allowed me to hear the stories of the organisers and to actively engage with them, which definitely inspired me to be part of the SDC organisational team and community of volunteers. 

NATHAN & YANNIS COMBINED REFLECTIONS: In addition to making us meet, and work with, incredible people, these experiences taught us extremely valuable skills. There were many skills but big ones included experiences of taking on responsibility, leadership, decision-making, efficient communication in a foreign language and, for some, flying over the Atlantic by yourself and being truly self-responsible. 

But of course, we wanted more.

We became volunteers for other countries. Wanting more is why we took part in both the Portuguese National and European 2022 SDCs as team CEOs. We acted as mentors, advising and helping our respective team members in their initial company organisation and in the processes for achieving the conception of base design. Volunteering was a way for us to start giving back our knowledge and experience of SDCs; it definitely was a new and very different perspective from being a participant competitor. 

We saw behind-the-scenes. Our roles as volunteers put us in a different position inside the SDC world: we sometimes acted as bridges between the organisers and the students. It meant we were very close to, and understood, both parties. This allowed us to gain precious behind-the-scenes experience that showed us a high-level, big-picture of a Space Design Competition that we had never imagined before.  

We started looking at the French scene: After a year of volunteering and seeing a couple of National Competitions springing up to life, we thought that it would be an interesting idea to introduce the SDC concept in our home country: France. It feels like our country is ripe to have scientific high school competitions that are not purely academic but based on technical problems that can/will be found in the industry. Moreover, the French Space Agency (CNES) is the main contributor to the European Space Agency, and we feel it is about time space sciences play a larger role in our scientific education.

We have now  created a French opportunity: We are both incredibly grateful to be able to bring our experience in SDCs to practice in organising the first French Space Design Competition (FRSDC) with the SSEF, and it just feels right to give back everything we’ve learned these last few years to an enthusiastic audience of “lycéens”. Our long-term goal would be to democratise as much as possible the SDC concept in our country and hopefully to make it a reference to take part in these competitions. As for now, we are very happy to expose students to space sciences as much as possible and to stir their passion the best we can.


End of Blog: authored by Nathan Besch & Yannis Kühn, FRSDC 2023 organisers and EU/ISSDC alumni . 

INSPIRED? WANT TO HELP THE FRENCH SDC and/or other SDCs? Click here.