Move An Asteroid 2014

International Student and Young Professional Technical Paper Competition



Never has there been a better time to study Near-Earth Objects (NEO's). Astronomers worldwide are on constant look out for undiscovered asteroids and comets. New tools have allowed the discovery of a great number of such objects in the past two decades. While large-asteroid events capable of causing species extinction on Earth are rare, experts are increasingly concerned about their likelihood. Far more common objects between 10 and 100 meters large, such as those responsible for the recent Tunguska and Chelyabinsk events, can cause significant damage and loss of life, making detection and preparedness efforts all the more pressing. In addition, worldwide interest in missions to NEOs for human and/or robotic exploration and for resource utilization is growing.



The competition challenges students and young professionals worldwide to come up with original ideas relating to Near Earth Objects (NEOs).
We invite technical paper submissions addressing one or more of the topics below. 
  • Safe deflection of an Earth-bound NEO
  • NEO study, characterisation and detection
  • Global NEO impact warning system
  • NEO resource utilisation
  • Proposals and concepts for NEO missions aiming at planetary defence, exploration, and/or resource utilisation
  • NEO impact consequences
  • NEO education programs and strategies
The scope of the subject matter is broadly defined. Prospective entrants in doubt about the suitability of their intended topic should Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. with questions.

The author of the winning submission will receive a funded trip to Toronto, Canada, to present their paper at two major international conferences:

  • The Space Generation Congress (SGC) 2014, the annual meeting of young space professionals and students.
  • The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2014 (29 Sep – 3 Oct), the leading annual meeting of global space experts from academia, government, and industry.

The award includes round-trip airfare, accommodations, and conference registration fees (subject to conditions). 



Each entrant will submit a technical paper of up to ten (10) pages long, describing their design. The responses should meet the following requirements:
  1. The language of all submissions must be English
  2. Submissions should include original content and research.
  3. Submissions should conform to all the rules for submission to the IAC (including font, font size, page margin, picture, etc.), but not exceed ten pages in length. (
  4. Entrants should describe in technical detail an idea that could lead to an improvement or innovation in any of the topic areas.  Entrants should consider the use of current or realistic near-future technologies in their design.
  5. Entrants are not required to use specific asteroids and thus may make assumptions about likely asteroid compositions, densities and trajectories.
  6. Submissions should show originality, practicality, and familiarity with the technical literature and provide a clear written description of the concept.
  7. Submissions should be technical in content. Entrants should attempt to understand the scientific, engineering, and social challenges involved.  Submissions on planetary defense should also recognize that most threats likely to occur within the next 100 years are from small NEOs.
  8. Submissions should be emailed as unlocked PDF documents (under 5 MB) to Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..
  9. Submissions are due by July 27th by 23:59 GMT. Any submissions past this time will not be considered.
  10. Entrants are required to submit to Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. a short letter expressing their intent to participate in the competition by May 31st, 2014, 23:59 GMT.
  11. Entrants are encouraged, but not required, to submit an abstract introducing their paper idea to Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.  at an early stage of their process.  This abstract will be used to determine the whether the proposed submission may be considered for the final award.  If no abstract is submitted, the suitability of the paper for consideration will be decided upon receipt of the final submission.
  12. Submission emails should identify one (1) point of contact (POC) with full contact information (name, affiliation if applicable, address, email, and phone number), and supervisor contact information including email. The point of contact should be the main author of the paper. 
  13. A maximum of three (3) people, including the point of contact, may collaborate on a submission. All team members must be under thirty-five (35) years of age by September 19th, 2014, (date of the start SGC). Only one of the authors of the paper will receive the funding for the award, regardless of how many people collaborated on the paper. Shall the other authors want to participate to the SGAC and/or IAC, they will be required to submit their application in the same way than any SGAC delegate, note that no spot can be guaranteed.
  14. Winning entrants agree to allow SGAC and partner organizations to share their names, affiliations, headshot and other photos in connection with communications about the competition. Winners will be identified as members of SGAC.
  15. SGC shall not be responsible if the award winner fails to attend the SGC and/or IAC; in such a case, the award offer shall become void. 
  16. SGC shall not be responsible in the event that the award winner cannot obtain any necessary travel documents to attend the SGC and IAC; if they are required but not obtained, the award offer shall become void.
  17. The executive video to be prepared by the winning entry shall last between 3 and 5 minutes. It shall be delivered by a method to be discussed with the winner in an AVI format and in full HD resolution.

For the full rules please see here.

What are you waiting for? Start defending the Earth today!



Thanks to OHB System for their generous donation to this year's Move An Asteroid competition!




Want to ensure that young people today are excited and knowledgeable about NEOs and planetary defense efforts? Then take advantage of remaining opportunities to support this event by contacting the MAA 2014 coordinator (below)!

Previous winners have been featured in coverage by U.S. National Public Radio (NPR), Space News, the LA Times, and other major media outlets!

After growing yearly, in 2014 the MAA competition is poised for an expanded presence at the IAC, including a dedicated event. Please contact us below to help make this effort a success!




For more information on the competition please contact:

Mr. Dragos Alexandru Paun, Coordinator, “Move an Asteroid 2014” International Technical Paper Competition, Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)

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To give you some idea of what we are looking for, below are the winning entries from previous Move An Asteroid competitions:

 Download (295kb PDF)
Gibbings, A. "A Smart Cloud Approach to Asteroid Deflection", Download (399kb PDF)
2010: Corbin, B. "Implementing Advanced Technologies and Models to Reduce Uncertainty in a Global, Cost-Effective Asteroid Mitigation System", Download (614kb PDF)
2009: Merikallio, S. "Moving an Asteroid with Electric Solar Wind Sail"Download (458kb PDF)
2008: D'Souza, M., "A Body Solar Sail Concept for the Deflection of 99942 Apophis", Download (233kb PDF)

For further inspiration try browsing the links below:

NEOPG Navigator Partner Sites Related Links
Home Page
B612 Foundation ESA Educational Material
NEO Documentary Association of Space Explorers
IAU Minor Planet Centre
Move An Asteroid Competition Secure World Foundation
Planetary Defense Blog
Get Involved with the NEOPG
The Planetary Society NASA NEO Program
Find An Asteroid Competition   2011 Planetary Defense Conferance

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