STEAM Space Illustrations

Project S.O.S.

Safeguard our Satellites

A New Mexico state-wide art competition

Winners Announced

Thank you to our Sponsor!

Jaguar Precision Machine
STEAM Space Illustrations

Calling all high school artists! The Hyperspace Challenge, founded by the Air Force Research Lab and supported by CNM Ingenuity, invites you to participate in “Project S.O.S. – Safeguard Our Satellites!”

Use your art to help us shine a spotlight on:

  • The critical role that satellites and other space assets play in modern life 
  • The growing threats they face from space debris and other hazards 
  • The need to take collective action to protect and strengthen them from harm

How the challenge works

  1. Select your prompt
  2. Craft your artwork
  3. Download the permission form. Review and sign with a parent or legal guardian.
  4. Upload your work (in pdf, jpg, png, tiff, svg format no larger 20mg) and the signed permission document on this form by March 23, 2024 at the button below. 

For any questions email [email protected]

Challenge Background

As the backbone of our interconnected world, we rely on satellites for many things we do in our daily lives. They allow us to stream shows and videos, play online games, message friends, predict the weather, navigate to new places, withdraw money from the ATM, and monitor climate change. But these celestial heroes are increasingly at risk. Even the smallest debris – much of which is metal – can, like a bullet traveling at 15,700 miles per hour, cause debilitating damage or destruction to orbiting space systems. Experts estimate there are approximately 37,000 pieces of space junk larger than a softball currently orbiting the earth at that rate of speed, and another half a million objects in orbit that are at least the size of a pencil eraser. Collisions between space junk and operational satellites are only a matter of time, especially as more and more satellites are launched. Until we can clean up the debris that’s already in orbit (we’re working on that too), we have to find ways to help satellites navigate this moving minefield. Project S.O.S. is designed to raise awareness of this issue and gain the attention of industries that may already have technologies that can help make satellites stronger and more resilient, such as mining sensors or materials manufacturing. We think art could be an extremely useful way to communicate the problem and get the attention of those who may have some solutions.

Challenge Prompt Options

Use your art to capture the beauty and wonder of satellites through your unique and creative lens. Identify and illustrate a single satellite or a constellation and raise awareness of the role these satellites play in our daily lives. Choose a particular kind of satellite – powering communications, navigation, weather forecasting, earth observation or research – and let it inspire your artistic journey. These unsung heroes enable you to stream your favorite shows, watch your favorite videos, explore knowledge, play games, and connect with friends and family. Let satellites emerge as the guardians of connectivity in your work, enabling an uninterrupted flow of information, bridging distances, and creating opportunity in every corner of the world. Use your artist’s statement to explain why you chose your satellite (or type of satellite) and why that technology is important to you.

Imagine the scenario of unchecked space debris and envision a future where space debris threatens our ability to explore and use space. Create a captivating visual representation that highlights the crowded space environment or offers a creative and the effects it has on both Earth and outer space. Using your preferred artistic method – whether it’s painting, drawing, digital art, or sculpture – vividly portray broken satellites, discarded parts of rockets, and the resulting chaotic scenarios. Use symbols to communicate the various outcomes of this uncontrolled spread of debris, covering issues related to the environment, technology, and society. Alongside your artwork, include an artist statement that explains your creative choices and the insights gained from researching space junk. This project uniquely blends artistic creativity and scientific exploration, encouraging you to reflect on the intricate balance between progress and taking care of our environment.

From mining and manufacturing, to art and architecture, immerse yourself in a future where industries coalesce to propel space exploration, intertwining multidisciplinary perspectives with the space sector. Your task is to create a visual representation, using mediums like painting, digital art, sculpture, or mixed media, that vividly captures these interdisciplinary collaborations within the context of space exploration. Incorporate symbols to signify the unique contributions of each industry, showcasing their interconnected role in shaping the trajectory of cosmic innovation. Infuse a futuristic aesthetic that mirrors the evolved technologies resulting from these creative partnerships. Accompany your artwork with an artist statement delving into your inspiration, conveyed messages, and the potential impact of these collaborations on space advancement. As you contemplate the benefits and challenges inherent in such multidisciplinary cooperation, reflect on the profound influence that diverse perspectives can wield. Through your submission, demonstrate creativity, technical expertise, and the depth of your exploration into these interdisciplinary connections, sparking a narrative of collaborative innovation that shapes humanity’s cosmic journey.