© 2017 by UBC Mars Colony Team.  |  Email: info.ubcmarscolony@gmail.com

FAQ

  • Do we get money for winning?​
    • Good question! We would love to be able to have a few thousand dollars provided to the winners because just like you, we are students too and who doesn't want to win a cash prize to offset the cost of schooling! 
    • However, we must first find a sponsor before that becomes a reality.
  • Wait, you’re a student team too? How does the UBC Mars Colony fit into all this?
    • We are not participating in the competitions that we host as that would be a conflict of interest.
    • We have been pioneering this competition, based on the knowledge from our own airlock project.
    • We wanted to provide an opportunity for engineers to get hands on experience with the aerospace industry because we believe there is going to be a huge demand for technology if we want to sustain ourselves on Mars. Enough fiction with space, we want to change perceptions that it's not a far away concept of having a space faring species, whether its on Mars, the moons of Jupiter, other celestial bodies, or a fully sustainable spaceship sent to explore new star systems. It's possible, we just need to put in the effort .
  • Why should we care about Mars colonization?
    • Sigh. See UBC Mars Colony’s Founder, Kyle Marquis, for indoctrination:
      • Inspiration to generations around the world
      • Progress towards sustainable habitation for colonies without atmospheres. This will involve research into carbon dioxide conversion due to the nature of humans in enclosed environments.
      • Technological achievements can be brought back to Earth. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible, we discover and create amazing things. Previous examples include:
  • If we registered only for the design aspect of the challenge currently, but wish to continue after the first year to build the prototype, will this be possible?
    • Yes! If your team wishes to proceed to the prototype phase of the competition after design stage finishes, please contact the Competition Officer via email or the contact form on this website.​
  • Can we make changes to our team roster during the course of the competition?
    • Yes, changes to team members are allowed as long as your team still meets the requirements listed on the "Eligibility" page. If your team has made any team member changes, please email the Competition Officer. 
  • Can an institution send more than one team to the competition?
    • Yes, an institution can have more than one team. However, we do make an effort to let Team Captains know that there is also another team from the same institution on board the competition in case the teams would like to merge.  
Common Questions Regarding Design Stage:
  • For the pressurizing of the system, is it assumed that we have to design our own pressurization unit? For example, have a pressurized reservoir of air separate from the airlock and then a means to "fill" the airlock with this said air until the proper pressure difference is reached, or would the air come from the already established colony and we just need a means to control the pressure?
    • ​Yes, designing the pressure system is part of the challenge. Hence, it should also be included in your bill of materials. Note that when you bring your prototype to UBC, we may be able to provide you with the equipment for pressurization (more info on this later).
  • Does the "endcap" or wall, on the opposite end of the outside hatch, have to be designed to attach to an imaginary habitat, and is UBC supplying an attachment apparatus that we should design this for? 
    • Great question, you just discovered a section for additional challenges.
    • To directly answer your question, no, no, and no. It does not need to be designed to attach to the colony, We do not provide the cap, and it doesn't need to have a hatch. If you do design it to attach to the colony, that could score extra in the additional challenges section.
    • Side note: As we discovered, it's just a difficult to cap off the end of a wall, as it is to build one with a door in it. The reason why we ask teams to cap off the end is because otherwise, the scope of work would be outside the range of this project. Our team is building an additional Colony section, and it would be tough for us to build the airlock in time and also ship it too a different university. Thus, we reduced the scope in the competition, capping it off at the airlock.
  • Can the overall airlock design include multiple parts that would be assembled, or is it that the only setup procedure allowed is decompressing the airlock and then it is ready to go?
    • Setup is going to be necessary, not just inflation. Your team must consider the impact of how difficult and complex your airlock is to set up, since astronauts will need to be able to do this is a reasonable time frame.
  • The guidelines say that astronauts should be able to assemble the airlock in less than 2 hours. Does this mean that it should go from all the individual parts/components of the airlock to an expanded, fully functional airlock in less than 2 hours? Or is it just that it needs to be expanded in less than 2 hours?
    • Correct, that section outlines that teams should aim to have the entire airlock fully functional within 2 hours. Aim to have as many parts pre-built on Earth as possible. Basically, aim to have your airlock to be fully functional as quick as possible.  
  • Does the airlock needs to be designed with the interface to a human habitat in mind?
    • Yes, please design an airlock with a human habitat in mind.
  • Do all pressurization system components need to be within the airlock itself? Is it possible to design the airlock with the pressurization components outside of the airlock?
    • ​Teams are asked to design a pressurization system for their airlock so it's up to teams to decide whether or not pressurization components are outside of the airlock.
  • Is it within the team’s scope to design ways to generate the necessary gases (i.e., oxygen, nitrogen) for the operation of the airlock? Or can we assume that there is a pre-existing source of air from the colony that can be utilized to provide the airlock with air?
    • ​Assume there is a pre-existing source of air from the colony that can be utilized to provide the airlock with air. We will be providing the source of air for the colony. 
Disclaimers:
  • Travel and accommodation, including VISA processes and other legal requirements for travel are the responsibility of the participant team to ensure for all of their members.

  • Teams must note that UBC Mars Colony will not be providing funding support for students participating in this competition at this time. As such, participants wishing to enter the competition must find their own funding sources for the challenge.

  • Though UBC Mars Colony and other competition sponsors will do their utmost to ensure a safe competition environment, it is ultimately the responsibility of each participant team to look after the safety of their members during their transit to and from the competition and during the competition events. UBC Mars Colony is not liable for health issues, accidents or other unanticipated situations that lead to damages on personnel or equipment.

  • Transportation, setup and general handling of equipment or materials of a competing project are the responsibility of the participant team. UBC Mars Colony is not liable for damages incurred to projects or equipment of participant teams for the duration of the competition.

  • UBC Mars Colony reserves the right to retract competition eligibility from any applicant, even after being granted competitor status.

  • Students will retain full rights to any intellectual property created during the competition.

  • UBC Mars Colony reserves the right to cancel the competition at any time.

  • Data Privacy: By submitting the Project Airlock Registration Form via Google Form, each Representative and each Entrant agree to such Representative’s and Entrant’s personal information being used only for the purposes described on this site and the Official Project Airlock Challenge Guide.