A New Home: Mission III

Welcome to the year 2060


Space is becoming ever more popular. Frontier colonies already exist on the surface of MARS and THE MOON.

BOLD EXPLORERS AND PIONEERS have been coming to Mars to work on mining, scientific research and low-gravity manufacturing. Supported by regular shipments from Earth, small communities are starting to thrive.

It is time to establish a larger SETTLEMENT for more residents from Earth...

COMPLETED Thank you for all the brilliant entries! You can see the final winners below.

The Challenge

Create a mini-guide for a settlement on Mars, persuading people from Earth to become first-settlers and make their home in the new, larger settlement.

Design the settlement to accommodate an initial population of 1000, including 100 children, allowing room for future growth.

  • Provide a map of your settlement. Label your map with key landmarks and features, including:
    • places that residents can visit
    • where food, water and waste will be managed
    • how people and supplies will come in and out of the settlement
      Consider what more a settlement needs to support residents.
  • Show residents:
    • floor plans of the residential buildings
    • how energy is generated for the settlement
    • transport to move around the settlement
  • Give your settlement its own identity.
    • Name your settlement and choose a slogan
    • Design its flag and mission patch (that is sewn onto spacesuits)
      Consider how else you could make your settlement more appealing to prospective residents.

Imagine there are no limitations on resources. We want to see your creative and innovative ideas to appeal to residents - be as bold as you can within realism. What makes your settlement unique from others in the Solar System?

How to Enter

The competition is open to Key Stages 2 and 3. You can enter as an individual or as a team of up to four.

Your guide brochure can be up to 4 sides of A4, including any cover pages. Create them however you like: on paper (which you then photograph or scan) or on computer. All entries must be submitted to us as a PDF document so we can share them with the judging panel.

Please register here, so that we know you are interested in participating.

The final deadline was 5pm on 11th November 2020

This privacy notice sets out the standards that you can expect from the Galactic Challenge when handling your personal information.

What is the judging criteria?

Your project will be reviewed by a judging panel who have backgrounds in science, engineering and space exploration. The judging criteria includes these three categories.


Entries that are based on real scientific principles


Entries that are new, interesting and innovative


Entries that would persuade us to visit your settlement

Grand Winners

Best of Key Stage 2 (Individual)

Primis by Ryan

This entry really impressed us with its vibrant and detailed diagrams, covering all aspects of life on Mars. On top of that, we saw an excellent use of scientific principles to explain geothermal power and oxygen recycling.

Best of KS2 (Individual)

Best of Key Stage 2 (Group)

Starlight Galaxy by Sadie, Honor, Emily & Holly

We loved that this entry presented a vibrant townscape, and was really well written as a brochure. Using straightforward language and an energetic tone, this entry told settlers everything they need to know about their new home. The cool flag and mission patch were the icing on the cake.

Best of KS2 (Group)

Best of Key Stage 3 (Individual)

Genesis-i3 by Ollie

Eye-catching diagrams really set this entry apart - we loved the consistent artistic style used for the design of the overall settlement and everything within, reminiscent of a spider's web. The information was presented in a very logical order, with great use of keys and icons to link different diagrams together.

Best of KS3 (Individual)

Best of Key Stage 3 (Group)

Hestia by Kaivalya, Pratyush, Oscar & Sean

This entry was crammed full of scientific detail and excellent ideas. We especially liked the idea of a pneumatic transportation system, well suited to the lower gravity and dusty environment of Mars. To top it off, the students went to great lengths to build a distinct identity for the settlement, with consistent branding, a defined currency, and a unique system of "Hexaports" for moving goods and people.

Best of KS3 (Group)

Special Mentions

The Science Award

Project Hestia by Shamrutha Shree, Kavya & Mokshitha

Project Hestia astonished us with the amount of scientific detail; the authors showed an excellent understanding of scientific and technical principles, and also did a fantastic job of conveying their knowledge to us with clear diagrams. We especially loved the thought that went into locating the settlement in an underground lava tube, and the justification for placing it near Hellas Basin and the South Pole of Mars.

The Science Award

The Creativity Award

Exio by Archana, Yaana & Ajetta

This brochure for Exio really stood out to us for the creativity and presentation of the design. Eye-catching colours, fonts and images were the warmup for some excellent artwork illustrating the settlement. We love the idea of having several cities, each with their own identity and adorable animal mascot.

The Creativity Award

The Communication Award

Mission Ares - Colony Genesis by Tejaswi

Clear, concise and persuasive communication is key to enticing people to make their home on Mars. Starting with a convincing and lively pitch, and progressing through all aspects of residents' daily lives, Mission Ares really did a great job of communicating its message to us. The realistic CAD models also helped to visualise how the settlement works.

The Communication Award

Gold Awards

Galactica Gigantica
by Blake
Aris Village
by Veronique
The Marvels of Mars
by Vibusha & Diya
Vector Mars
by Gael
The Celestial Helios Settlement
by Kian
Ruga Planedo
by Ivy
The Star
by Sanjiv
Palace of Fire
by Amogh & Srithan
by Shrkar
Operation Mars
by Samuel, Nina, Bruno & Innes
Golden Royals
by Pranit
Sirius I
by Seth, Amelie & Meisa
The Galactic Generation
by Jiya, Nitya, Asmita & Aashrita
by Pranav
The Basalt World
by Akshaj

Silver Awards

The Marineris Valley Colony
by Shashank
Eco Haven
by Ali & Adam
Mars Domes
by Platon, Tom & Carter
by Shahrukh
The Martian
by Arpan & Kaustubh
Martia - The Martian Bubble
by Srutiga
Nirvana City
by Kate
Project Areios
by Manasvi & Riya
Planet Happywood
by Millie
by Aarush, Abhiram, Vedant & Shreyash
by Mylah, Anna & Alexandra
Martis in domum suam (Home of Mars - Latin)
by Lyra
by Hari
by Mehreen & Ashna
by Oscar
by Roxolana, Nathan & Arnav
The Domes
by William
by Yathoosan
Red Planet Society
by Penny & Russell
Red Star (Kokino Asteri)
by Arfia, Samya, Ashvini & Harini
by Adya
The Marshans
by Riziha
by Lachlan
La Ciudad Rojo
by Shreyas, Rayan & Zaki
The Dome
by Simon
by Diego & Joseph
Primis Copernicus
by Ahsan
The Ace Space
by Michae-Tae
by Adam & Hayley
TCR/ the contemporary revolution
by Shormista
the Russell-Lewis District
by Raien & Poppy
The Valentina settlement
by Aleisha

Bronze Awards

by Thomas, Keir & Luke
Ecological potential
by Byron
by Ananth
by Mabel & Yael
by Kashvi, Eshani & Ishita
The Red Home
by Casey, Kaylynn & Jemima
Colony: M
by Josiah & William
The New Earth
by Noah
Space Summits
by Yathra & Navani
Mission Habitable
by Riya & Praanvi
by Layla, Aoife, Ellen & Angel
by Toby, Alasdair, Harry & Toby
The Red Dome
by Oliver
by Eleanor, Hoda & Caya
by Finlay
Martian Camp
by Nayan
by Amélie
Blue Sunset on the Red Planet
by Simon
sw melas
by Angad & Ria
by Hari
The red fragment
by Finley
by Mack, Max, Harry & Charles
Eco Haven
by Adam & Ali
The Great Mars Bank
by Oscar, Charlie & Oliver
Red Base I
by Avkash
Marz Barz
by Ameli, Naia & Kiya
Mars Ice Cream Planet
by Rose, Flo, Tabbie & Emilia
Out of this world
by Ruby
The Horizon
by Aaron, Spencer & William
Martia Settlement
by Parv
Red Rock Space Station
by Inés
Project Hexagon
by Merci, Shamiso & Amy
by Harry & Dylan
Galactic Association
by Daniel & Emily
Life On Mars
by Zoe
Intergalactic Industries
by Ellis, Harrison & Theo
A Scene Unseen
by Daniel, Herbie & Scot
Mars Metropolis
by George, Dominic & Isaac
by Vaibhav
Mars Living
by Zoe
by Anders
by Nathan
The Core
by Amira-Jade & Rumaysa
Nature of Mars
by Phoebe
by Morgan
by Ben & Dylan
Red Town
by Sara
Facility Alpha
by Ellis & Tylah
by Pierce & Rohan
by Myrto & Romanos
by Bintou, Francesca & Godis
by Jake
by Andrea