Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Horia Teodorescu, a student in 10th grade at Costache Negruzzi College in Ia?i, northeastern Romania, won the annual worldwide NASA Space Settlement Design Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Fundamental Space Biology Program of the United States‘ space agency, NASA. The task of the contest is for students to develop designs for a permanent orbital space colony. For his design, Teodorescu was awarded a visit to a NASA base in the USA.

Concerning the contest, Teodorescu said, “I designed a space colony which is called ‘Temis’, a personification of the Greek goddess of wisdom. The project is made up of four parts.” He said that the development of the space colony in his design has two phases – “Firstly, there is the construction period, in which the Moon is used as a base for extracting and processing materials. This would last about one year. After that, there would be a period of 4-5 years, in which the population of the colony would reach 10,000.” In 15 years, Teodorescu projects in his design that the population would reach 100,000, and reach the stage where the colony would be able to sustain itself and to start developing its own economic, social and educational systems.

During the design’s conception, Teodorescu was aided by his teachers, Adrian Koriloff, Margareta Constantinescu, Nicolae Hirtan and Lucia Miron, as well as his father Horia Neculai Teodorescu, who is a professor at the Ia?i University. Teodorescu also participated in the same contest in 2004, where he received second place. The first prize was also obtained by Romanians, more precisely a group of students from Constan?a.

The Costache Negruzzi College, founded in 1895, is, with over 1500 students, the largest secondary education facility in Ia?i, a city of 320,000 people.