What is an RFP?

When an organization or government wishes to create a big new thing or perform a big new project, they don't do it themselves: they hire someone. How do they know who to hire? They issue a "Request for Proposal" which is precisely what it sounds like: a plea for companies to propose a solution to their problem. Real companies (often called "government contractors") research the problem, design solutions, and then create a document that is their proposal for creating or building the "big new thing". The government (or whoever) then chooses one of the proposals and grants that organization a "contract" to implement their solution. These contracts often run into billions of dollars.

The Space Settlement Design Competition is all about creating one of these proposals: a response to a request to build a space settlement.

The RFP has the following sections:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Structural Engineering
  3. Operations and Infrastructure
  4. Human Factors
  5. Automation and Robotics
  6. Schedule and Costs
  7. Business Development
  8. Special Studies / Operational Scenario

Each of these sections have 4-5 sub-sections, each subsection having minimum requirements. For teams to design and develop a good proposal they should pay special attention to addressing all the minimum requirements mentioned in the RFP, and then capitalise on remaining space in the prescribed maximum pages to state more points asked by the RFP.

Look at the Preliminary RFP to understand the Format and Schedule of the submissions. Your team needs to register before getting the Qualifying Round RFP.



Astoria will be the first large space settlement community in solar orbit within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and will primarily serve as a harvesting and processing center for asteroid resources. The Foundation Society envisions Astoria as a mine-to-manufacture installation, harvesting a diversity of asteroid types and producing as much as possible of the things that humans need for living and working in orbit.