The Future of Space Technology: Highlights from the Inaugural SEA Space Station Technology Badge and Pitch Competition

Posted April 20, 2023 by Miranda Marshall

The field of space exploration and technology has seen remarkable growth in recent years, and the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators are gearing up to take it to the next level.

The inaugural season of the Space Entrepreneurs Academy and Pitch Competition has been an amazing success, and we are proud to announce the Best in Show awarded projects from this very first season! The academy launched in 2023 with two certification courses for high school students: Space Entrepreneurship 101, and Space Station Technology. High school students completed a rigorous curriculum over the course of the semester, culminating in the submission of their project to the academy’s pitch competition. Best in Show winners for each of the two courses were selected to highlight leading student projects. The two Best-In-Show winners are noted here:


Best in Show – Space Entrepreneurship 101

Xcess by Debbie W.

In the Middle/High School category, Debbie W. impressed the judges with her business plan titled Xcess. Debbie identified the key limitations of deep space exploration – the lack of rocket fuel and breathable oxygen – and developed a unique solution to tackle this challenge. Her Xcess engine would convert carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen and rocket fuel, and would operate completely power-free, making it a sustainable, affordable, and weightless alternative to traditional rocket engines.

The potential applications Debbie noted for this technology would enable us to: extend space tourism orbits, offer sight-seeing tours of the solar system, conduct long-term research to take place on the Moon and Mars, and give space travelers the confidence and ability to rest a ship indefinitely and be able to safely return.

View her presentation.


Best in Show – Space Station Technology

Project Linx by Lena D. and Leonardo M.

The Best in Show winner for the Space Station Technology Badge Certification was the two-person team of Lena D. and Leonardo M., who developed Project Linx. Their project focused on the psychological well-being of astronauts in space, which is a critical issue that is often overlooked.

Living in space for extended periods of time can be incredibly isolating and detrimental to an astronaut’s mental health. Lena and Leonardo proposed creating customized virtual reality programs that would simulate the experience of living in space and help astronauts adjust to the unique challenges of their environment. These programs could also be used to improve astronauts’ dexterity and hand-eye coordination, and provide guided meditation and relaxation exercises to promote mental well-being.

View their presentation here.


The success of these projects, and the creative solutions proposed by all teams, would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of teachers who guided their students through the Space Station Technology Badge program, supported by a grant from the International Space Station National Laboratory.

The program aims to equip students with critical and creative thinking skills, help them apply their knowledge to the aerospace industry, and discover new opportunities for growth and technology in space stations. Thank you particularly to Tatyana Pashnyak, Bryan Silver, and Angela Johnson for their tremendous contribution to this effort.

ICS’s Space Entrepreneurs Academy provides an exciting opportunity for high school and college entrepreneurs and innovators to explore the uncharted territories of space and develop new solutions to the complex challenges that lie ahead. Combining entrepreneurship with STEM and technology focused curriculum, the Academy’s two certification courses (Space Entrepreneurship 101, and Space Station Technology) provide a great jumpstart into the aerospace industry for students from all backgrounds. With the kind of talent, dedication, and creativity that has been on display in this year’s competition, there is no doubt that we can look forward to an exciting future in space exploration!

Enrollment for the Fall Semester certification courses will open over the summer. Stay tuned to the ICS email newsletter for more information on how to get your students certified as space entrepreneurs or contact!