The Durango High School Aerospace Design Team was part of the second-place winning group at the 2013 World Finals of the Space Settlement Design Competition at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Also, during the Aug. 3-5 competition, two of the top three individual awards were won by Durango team members: Senior-to-be Katie Dudley won the top female presenter award while Bella Bussian won the top leadership award.
This is the second consecutive year Dudley won “top presenter.” Bussian’s accomplishment marks the fourth consecutive year that a Durangoan has won the leadership award.
Mallory Byrd was honored for her structural engineering brief.
“I am incredibly proud of the Durango squad, which has again perpetuated its reputation for being hard working, diligent, innovative and kind,” said Daniel Garner, team coach and aerospace design teacher at Durango High School.
After earning an invitation to the World Finals by winning the national qualifying competition in May, the 14-member design squad traveled to NASA where it formed a corporation made up of teams from the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia and California.
This year’s competition gave the student-led teams 42 hours to propose the design, construction and operation of a community on Earth’s moon for 16,000 residents.
In a sleepless two-day rush, teams designed all the structures and materials, infrastructure and operations, housing and psychological contingencies, computer networks, automated features, contingency plans and costs associated with building a city.
Then, teams gave a 35-minute briefing to a panel of NASA and industry judges.
The Durango team receives support from Alliant Tech Systems (ATK), BP, Alpine Bank, Dave Nulton and the Bill and Dianne Mensch Foundation.