nasa caltech_jpl
10th Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition

May 21, 2019, 8 p.m. UTC

June 12, 2019, 8 p.m. UTC


The competition is over.

Settlers of the Galaxy

In about ten thousand years from the present, humanity will reset its counting of years to zero. Year Zero will be the year when humanity decides the time is ripe for the human race to boldly venture into the galaxy and settle other star systems. One hundred thousand star systems in the galaxy have been identified as being suitable for settlement. Even in this Year Zero, although technologies and knowledge have dramatically progressed, we are still subject to the tyranny of inertia and remain far from the near-instantaneous space travel depicted fancifully in science fiction. However, enormous strides have been made in the ability to live in space, so much so that self-reliant settler vessels can travel though space for hundreds of thousands of generations, making it possible for humans to reach and settle other star systems. The task in GTOC X is to settle as many of the one hundred thousand star systems as possible, in as uniform a spatial distribution as possible, while using as little propulsive velocity change as possible. The settlement of the galaxy starts by fanning out from our home star, Sol. Once another star is settled, further settlements can fan out from that star. Solutions that are submitted earlier rather than later in the submission period will be rewarded a bonus stemming from the fact that humanity's resources are dwindling and the sooner we decide on a settlement plan for the galaxy, the better.

Intrepid GTOC Settlers will find the full problem specification in the download:


Teams are encouraged to use the Discussion section (link at left) to discuss aspects of the problem with the GTOC community. In particular, newcomers to astrodynamics (and here we mean spacecraft trajectory design) may like to engage with the community in the spirit of an open competition for help with some of the terminology and other facets that may be foreign to them.