Illustration by Pat Rawlings

The Space Settlement Symposium (S3) is a  part of New Worlds 2019.

The settlement of space is more than an abstract to us. We will need proven engineering and systems to survive and thrive on the frontier. These begin with ideas, concepts and plans and will evolve to technologies and systems. We invite you to present yours to the rest of us, so that together we can advance our capabilities to survive and thrive on the frontier. We also know that it helps to have a small reward, even if it is just a token or nowhere near the value of the idea. And so we offer small prizes for the best idea in each session and an overall prize for the best paper or presentation of the Symposium.

The deadline for submissions will be on October 11, 2019, 11:59 pm (Central Time).

 How S3 works

  • 8 minute high-impact presentation
  • An idea is only as good as you ability to sell it. So use minimal explanatory text – written versions accepted/encouraged as supplements for publication.
  • Live Q&A by Chairs and audience
  • Be ready with answers to the toughest questions you can imagine – it will only make you stronger.
  • Secret vote by attendees, Chairs, New Worlds Institute Senior Associates, & Fellows
  • Your idea will be judged by everyone at the event. Know that when you put it together. It will help you be better in the future – we promise.

Challenge Prizes

(prizes are minimums and may grow based on contributions)

  • Winning team will receive scholarships for up to (3) people from Kepler Space Institute ($5000/person)
  • 30-minute private meeting with a major science, engineering, or business leader
    Presenters at the conference will need to submit a brief abstract (described below), followed later by a short paper that will become part of the symposium’s proceedings. This will document the revolutionary ideas we discuss in the symposium and help us spread ideas to help humanity get the job done. We intend to publish all presentations.
Earth and Moon as seen in 2007 by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from orbit around Mars
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

What we are looking for

We are looking for leading edge, game-changing ideas. We are also looking for ideas that fill in the gaps in our capability to open and settle the frontier. In terms of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) we are primarily looking for TRL 1-4, with 2-4 preferred. In addition, we want to see your roadmap and required resources to go to higher TRL. If you have jumped those steps in your secret lab and are testing your concepts on the bench or taken your concept even further, we would like to see that as well. For an explanation of TRL see:

This year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Lunar landings, we are looking for ideas that establish a permanent human presence enabling sustainable lunar operations on the surface and/or in lunar orbits. You are invited to consider infrastructure projects, exploration missions, resource prospecting and utilization, human factors, and future of human and robotic activities on the Moon.

New Worlds Institute is building a community of minds. It is our intention to stay in contact with all presenters and begin to help them network with others over time so we can help one another build the foundation, future settlers, and explorers will need. Your presentation and concepts will be integrated into the New Worlds Institute Space Development Matrix and you will have the opportunity to interact with others who share your interests.

A new approach to presenting your concepts

While we will maintain the highest standards, we also want to do things in a new way. For example, presentations will be selected and judged not only on their content, but on their relevance and your ability to sell your ideas.

The first symposium to offer Prizes

We know that you are passionate about your ideas and would do what you do for free. We also know that in their early stages, new concepts don’t necessarily pay. This is why, for the first time at any technical event of this kind, New Worlds is offering cash and other prizes to the best presentations.

Topics Include

  • SPACE HIGHWAYS – Inter-Solar Transportation
    • Ideas, technologies, and systems that enable the development of fast, safe, and reliable transportation between worlds in space.
  • SPACE MAKERS – Manufacturing
    • Ideas, technologies, and systems that enable the manufacture of products for use in space or export to Earth.
  • BIONEERING – To Survive and Thrive in Space
    • Ideas, technologies, and systems affecting the ability of humans to survive and thrive in space.
  • FARMERS IN THE SKY – Food and Agriculture in space
    • Ideas, technologies, and systems to provide food and supplies to settlers and workers in space.
  • HOME SWEET HOME – Space Habitats
    • Ideas, technologies, and systems to build habitats and communities in space (the Moon, Mars and Free Space).
  • SPACE RESOURCES – Mining the Sky
    • Ideas, technologies, and systems to enable the harvesting and utilization of resources found in space.

The Rules

To Submit Abstracts

You need to submit an abstract outlining the presentation of your idea. It must be no more than 500 words of narrative text and fit on one page including any figures, tables, and graphs. It must be enough information for reviewers to decide on the relevance and appropriateness of the presentation. All abstracts must use 11-pt. type or larger and have 0.5″ margins on all sides. For table and figure legends, 10-pt. type or larger must be used. Fonts must be one of the following styles: Times New Roman, Georgia, Helvetica, or Times.

The abstract MUST include

  • Title of your presentation
  • Names of the authors; their email addresses and institutional affiliation (if any) and which of the six topic areas to which your presentation is best aligned
  • Up to 500 words of text
  • Any tables and/or figures
  • All abstracts must be submitted as a one-page Microsoft Word document (.doc, docx)
  • Use the following naming convention for the file name:
  • PresenterLastName_PresenterFirstName_Topic.doc
  • For example: Long_Lazarus_Construction.doc
  • Enhance your chance of being invited to present by including a link to a high-quality PowerPoint or video of you presenting your idea or why we should let you present
  • All proposals must be submitted to
  • Note that your presentation may be assigned to a different (but relevant) session depending on how many abstracts we receive in each topic area.
  • The deadline for submissions will be on October 1, 2019, 11:59 pm (Central Time).
  • Your abstract will be reviewed by the conference organizers for appropriateness to the aims of the conference, and if it fits then we will notify you of acceptance within 3 days of submission.


If you have a video of yourself presenting or speaking add the link to your email. We are looking for good presenters as well as good ideas! If a session fills, this is what will help us decide who is IN.

Increase your chances by making a video or presentation.

We live in a visual world. We understand that writing an abstract may not be your strong point. We also want you to be able to sell your ideas to the world. Therefore, S3 will accept additional materials that demonstrate your capabilities to present your concepts. Our team will consider these materials in our decision to invite your presentation.

The abstract MAY include

  • PowerPoint images illustrating your idea
  • Links to videos of you giving your presentation

To Submit Papers

After your abstract has been selected, you will need to submit a 3–5 page paper that will become part of the symposium’s proceedings — the proceedings will be distributed online after the symposium has concluded. The proceedings will document the innovative and inspiring ideas, which is important so the symposium actually helps humanity achieve the goal of space settlement.


We are happy to offer you the chance to walk through your presentation and test your imagery. This is an option, and if accepted you will be contacted by our team to schedule a rehearsal and/or check out on November 9 (the day before the conference) at the venue.

Broadcast and Recording

By submitting your presentation you are giving your consent to be recorded live at S3, and to have edited versions of your image and presentation used online and packaged for sale and use by New Worlds and the public. You will be asked to sign a waiver to this effect. Therefore it is imperative you make sure you have the rights to use any images in your presentation. And of course, wear a clean tshirt, ’cause mom might see the video!


Too often technical and high-level ideas are presented in such a way that they have little effect or get lost in the high noise level of our society. We want you to be effective. We want your ideas to spread, and to hopefully help us open New Worlds to human settlement.

  • Presentations must be simple, visual, and well designed. Presentations with no more than 100 words per image are encouraged.
  • Two of the evaluation criteria are the quality of your presentation and your ability to communicate your ideas effectively.
  • If selected and you did not accompany your abstract with your presentation, you will be sent a link to submit your Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote presentation by November 1.
  • You must be present and available at S3 on the day of your session to do your presentation.
  • Presentations order will be determined by the S3 team.
  • S3 and our team may invite papers in addition to accepting submitted papers. During the sessions no mention will be made regarding which participants submitted their abstracts and which ones were invited, to ensure a level playing field between presenters.

The decision to include or not include your presentation at S3 is at the discretion of New Worlds and its associates, chairs, and other consulting persons. All decisions are final.


All presenters are given passes to both days of the symposium, and a 50% discount on one pass to the amazing Space Cowboy Gala and Ball. Presenters are responsible for all other expenses (e.g. food, travel, lodging, etc.).

Integrity is Important

In accordance with New Worlds ethical standards, we ask that you demonstrate integrity by pledging that any ideas or elements of your presentation are your own, are legally obtained, or are cited with proper attribution.

New Worlds and its staff, volunteers, chairs and involved persons take no responsibility for issues regarding plagiarism, or any other issues regarding duplication or liability of ideas copies or used from other sources.

About Kepler Space Institute

Kepler Space Institute (KSI) is dedicated to providing educational programs, research solutions, and publications to the public, industry, and governmental organizations in support of continuing Space Exploration, Commercialization, and Settlement. Through cutting edge research, exploration and development of space resources, KSI helps facilitate the expansion of human civilization from Earth into Space, with the primary goal of benefiting humans everywhere on Earth and beyond. To learn more about the enrollment process and for a schedule of upcoming events, visit

About New Worlds Institute

New Worlds Conference and New Worlds Institute are part of the EarthLight Foundation, an international 501c3 charitable education and research organization registered with the IRS and the Texas Secretary of State. EarthLight and its affiliates and DBAs do not participate in lobbying or any political or direct advocacy or other policy activities. Our Mission is to catalyze, facilitate, enable and help lead the human settlement of space. Learn more by visiting