NASA'S Gateways to
Blue Skies Competition

2024 Theme: Advancing Aviation for Natural Disasters

As climate change increasingly influences the frequency and severity of natural disasters on a global scale, opportunities to contribute at the intersection of technological advancement, aviation, and natural disasters grow in both number and importance. The 2024 Gateways to Blue Skies Competition is asking teams to conceptualize, in terms of feasibility and viability, aviation-related system(s) that can be applied by 2035 to one phase of management of a chosen type of natural disaster to improve capabilities. 

Competition News

2024 Blue Skies Finalists Announced!

March 26, 2024 - Eight teams have been selected as finalists as part of the 2024 Gateways to Blue Skies Competition. Teams will present their design concepts to a panel of NASA & industry judges at a forum this May at NASA Ames.

Announcing the 2024 Blue Skies Competition!

July 25, 2023 - The 2024 Gateways to Blue Skies Competition: Advancing Aviation for Natural Disasters now open and accepting proposals focusing on aviation-related systems for natural disasters!

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. View the 2023 Competition Record.


Competition Overview

Blue Skies expands engagement between universities and NASA’s University Innovation Project, industry, and government partners by providing an opportunity for multi-disciplinary teams of students from all academic levels (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate) to tackle significant challenges and opportunities for the aviation industry through a new project theme each year. The competition is guided by a push toward new technologies as well as environmentally and socially conscious aviation. 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 each June. 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.