NASA'S Gateways to Blue Skies:
Clean Aviation Energy Competition

As aircraft design and fuels change to become more environment friendly, airports, operations and overall infrastructure must also change. The Gateways to Blue Skies: Clean Aviation Energy Competition challenges teams of university-level students to conceptualize the source-to-flight lifecycle of a potential future clean aviation energy source, in terms of feasibility, viability, and environmental impact. By evaluating potential new energy sources and analyzing the entirety of the supply chain, teams may help determine the “clean aviation energy” source of the 2050s. 

Competition News

Congratulations to the 2023 Blue Skies Forum Winners!

June 5, 2023 - Boston University (Aluminum Powder Combustion) placed first and University of California, San Diego took second, with other special awards at the 2023 Blue Skies Forum.

2023 Blue Skies
Finalists Announced!

March 28, 2023 - Eight teams have been selected to present their clean energy concepts to a panel of NASA & industry judges at the 2023 Blue Skies Forum, June 1-2 at NASA's Glenn Research Center.

2023 Blue Skies
Competition Announced!

July 26, 2022 - The 2023 Competition focuses on the source-to-flight climate impacts of new, alternative clean aviation energy sources. Be the future: Start today!


Competition Overview

The Gateways to Blue Skies competition (aka, Blue Skies) was developed to expand engagement between universities and NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s (ARMD’s) University Innovation Project. Gateways to Blue Skies projects allow students to work on real aviation/aeronautical design concepts together in a team environment, with a new project theme each year. Blue Skies is open to multi-disciplinary teams comprised of undergraduate and graduate college students who have an interest in aviation and/or aeronautics. Initial participation involves a conceptual study, submission of a 5-7 page proposal and video summarizing the team’s proposal. Finalists write a final research paper, create an infographic summarizing concepts, and present in front of NASA and industry experts at a culminating forum held at a NASA Center. Internship opportunities with NASA’s ARMD serve as the competition prize for members of the winning team. 
Toggle the menu below for additional competition details. Visit the Competition Details page for more details about this year’s competition.