Destination Station ISS + AI Project Pitch Event - September 18, 2019 - Contest Information

AI / Space Station Project Concept Pitch Session

In this special session, selected researchers and students will have an opportunity to pitch “ISS meets AI” project ideas of their own to a panel of space experts who will give feedback based on their experience with other flight experiments that have been conducted on the space station. 



Guidelines and Rules 

This project concept pitch competition is open to Students, Researchers and Faculty Members.   To participate, submit a presentation describing your idea for a project using the provided template by email to  (address provided soon)  by 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, September 8, 2019.    Five to seven submissions will be given an opportunity to present their project ideas to the expert panel at the September 18 event.   Selected submitters will be notified on September 12, 2019 and can use their submission decks for their presentation at the event.


Concept Scope

To participate, design and propose a concept for either: 

  1. a flight experiment, to be tested aboard the ISS, leveraging AI and the space and microgravity environment, OR 
  2. a data project where AI is applied to a dataset generated aboard the ISS 

to advance sciences in space to benefit life on Earth, as well as to accelerate experimental discovery process.

Your concept should:  
  • be in the fields of life sciences, physical sciences, remote sensing or technology development 
  • demonstrate clear terrestrial benefit  
  • demonstrate clear benefits of applying AI, or further research in AI 
  • have a compelling reason to use the ISS, such as using the environment of space in one of the following three categories: 
  • The sustained microgravity environment 
  • External platform projects utilizing the extreme conditions of space  
  • The vantage point of the ISS for remote sensing upstream and downstream applications  
  • OR have a compelling reason to use the data generated aboard the ISS

Your c
oncept should not:
  • be solely about exploration of space (it must have a terrestrial benefit) 
  • pose any threat to crew’s wellbeing or cause any disturbance to the normal operation of the ISS 
  • involve any direct tests on crew 
  • include proprietary information or intellectual property.


Submissions must be in the form of a PowerPoint Presentation file based on this  Submission Template  (also available here if link does not work), containing slides (pages) with the following information: 


  1. Title of Your Project Idea, Submitter Name(s) and Affiliation 
  2. Abstract – A concise description of the idea in two or three lines 
  3. Objective - Objectives of the proposed project and how it leverages the unique opportunities provided by AI and the ISS 
  4. Experimental Plan and Operational Requirements 
  5. Value/Benefits Why does the proposed effort matter to Humanity and AI?


Submission Deadline and Procedure

All submissions should be sent by email to by 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, September 8, 2019.  Your email should include your PowerPoint Presentation deck as an attachment. 


Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be selected for presentation, and prizes awarded, based on four criteria: 

  • Operational feasibility 
  • Innovative use of the ISS 
  • Meaningful use of AI or advancement of the field of AI 
  • Value to life on Earth 



The following links have useful information on previous NASA and ISS National Lab experiments and the unique research opportunities provided by the ISS


Life Sciences

Physical Sciences - Physical Science Informatics (PSI)
  • Data repository for physical science experiments, including materials science research, performed on the International Space Station (ISS):

esearcher’s Guide to: Physical Sciences Informatics System:


Additional Conditions

Submissions must not contain any confidential or proprietary information.  By submitting a proposal deck, you attest to the fact that the ideas are yours and do not include any confidential information.  All decisions of the panel are final.  There is no guarantee that any submissions will lead to any further interactions with any of the parties involved, or lead to projects deployed on the ISS or with its data.  (Note that official proposals for actual ISS experiments require significant additional documentation and must adhere to additional conditions before they can be considered for actual deployment on the ISS.) 

Submissions are open to students and researchers.  All submitters must be over 18, and must not be government employees. No NASA or Federal endorsement implied. NASA and IBM are not affiliated with any monetary prizes in this event.  IBM employees are welcome to participate but are not eligible to receive monetary awards, and are responsible with their management for any travel and accomodation costs. Award recipients are responsible for all applicable taxes.