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How can humanity expand into outer space in a safe and sustainable way?

The SGAC Space Safety and Sustainability (SSS) Project Group and our Sponsor the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have the honor to invite participants aged 18 to 35 from around the world to take part in this essay competition. Our competition will provide entrants with the opportunity to introduce new ideas on the topic of how humankind could expand into outer space and most importantly, in a safe and sustainable way.

Deadline extended : 1 September 2019, 23:59 GMT

“SSS Essay Competition 2019 came to an end! Congratulations to all participants! For the list of winners, please visit this page!”


1. Write an essay (800-1200 words) about the topic: “How can humanity expand into outer space in a safe and sustainable way?”

  • What are your main ideas?
  • What makes this (these) idea(s) innovative?
  • What is the safe and sustainable aspect of your idea(s)?

2. To be eligible for an essay submission, become a SGAC member now! It will take you only a few minutes!

3. Please submit your entry as an unlocked PDF document under 5 MB by
1 September 2019, 23:59 GMT (see submission details below).

  • Make sure your name is not included in the essay document!

4. Please bear in mind the requirements noted below.

5. By sending your essay you accept the competition’s
Terms and Conditions.

6. Winners will be contacted via email and announced on this website page on
16 September 2019



  • Book and T-Shirt from ESO
  • Publication of essay work on media
  • Electronic Certificate from SGAC


  • Book from ESO
  • Publication of essay work on media
  • Electronic Certificate from SGAC

Place 3-10:

  • Electronic Certificate from SGAC

How to apply

To take part in the competition your essay must meet the requirements (see below).

All admitted essays will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Content
  • Clear expression of thought and style
  • Strong organization
  • Support and development of the idea



1. The competition is open to all students and young professionals from any country.

2. All individuals or team members shall be SGAC members between the ages of 18 to 35 inclusive (up to the day of their 36th birthday) on 1 October 2019.

3. The competition is open to individuals.

4. Competition organizers and judges are not eligible for this award.


1. All submissions shall be made by 1 September 2019, 23:59 GMT. Any submissions after the deadlines will not be considered.

2. The submission is due as an unlocked PDF document under 5 MB. It shall be submitted via the
Scholarships Submission Form. You will need to be logged in as an SGAC member to access the submission page. Become a SGAC member now!

3. The submission shall include original content and research. Work that has already been presented at a past conference or previously submitted to this competition is not eligible.

4. Essay must be between 800-1200 words excluding references and title (longer and shorter essays won’t be accepted).

5. All participants must write in English. Perfect English is not required. It’s enough as long as your idea(s) is(are) understandable.

6. The suggested writing format is: size 12 and Times New Roman as the font style, single spaced.

7. To cite an external reference(s), participants should place the Author’s last name and then comma (,) followed by the year of publication in parentheses

8. References (books, articles, magazines, websites etc.) must be properly cited. We recommend using
APA style citation.

9. Essays may contain graphic illustrations or tables, but they don’t count towards the word count and should only support the explanation of your idea.

10. Participant has to be the sole author and has to hold all rights to the essay. Essays must not be previously submitted to other competitions nor published. All essays will be checked for plagiarism. Plagiarism of more than 10% will be disqualified.

11. Participants may only submit only one essay on the topic.

12. All essays will be treated equally regardless of the participant’s age, gender, race, nationality, religion, and title.

13. Participants must NOT include their name or any kind of identification in their essay to allow anonymity for the purpose of a fair judging process. The judges will only receive the essays without your email contact.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

1. By submitting an entry, applicants agree to permit SGAC and all affiliated organizers to mention their names, affiliations and headshot picture in connection with the competition.

2. Copyright of the submitted entry shall remain with the contestants. However, by submitting an entry all contestants agree that SGAC and all affiliated organizers are granted non-exclusive reproduction rights regarding all submitted papers. SGAC and all affiliated organizers may also present ideas and findings generated by this competition at relevant conferences


Entries accepted: Now!

Submission Deadline: 1 September 2019, 23:59 GMT

Winners announced: 16 September 2019


For any questions, please refer to [email protected]


SGAC and SSS Project Group would like to thank the European Southern Observatory (ESO)

The Competition Organizing Team

• Ariel Toh

• Divyesh Patel

• Laura-Adriana Florean

• Maren Hülsmann

• Mitchie Anne Richelle Kenept

• Ricardo Filipe Gomes

• Sujab Bhusal