The 6th Mission Idea Contest

overview requirements schedule application frequently asked questions Contact Contact

Frequently Asked Question


Intellectual Property
Evaluation and Award
Final Presentation


Dec 14, 2010 ... Q&A regarding online submission was added.

Sep 10, 2010 ... Q&A regarding travel support and # of the finalist teams were updated.

Feb 23, 2011 ... Q&A regarding the final paper template.


Q. Where can I get more information about the contest?

A. Please contact the regional coordinator in your region. If you cannot find coordinator in your region, email to secretariat.
Email: contest (at)


Q. Can I submit more than one proposal?

A. Yes.

Q. How can I submit my Proposal? (Updated on Dec 14)

A. Please use abstract template abstract template, pdfabstract template, MS word and submit it in PDF format (limit 5 pages, single spaced, 11 pt font, in English) through online-submission page (available from October, 2010)

To upload your abstract please do the following:
  1. Access the Mission Idea Contest - Application page at the following web site:
  2. Click APPLY NOW (green box in the screen)
  3. Fill the application form by input your email, password, telephone number, …etc.
  4. Click next and finally click submit.
  5. You will receive an email shortly which will confirm that you application is processed and your account is created.
  6. Go back to the same application page:
  7. Click Existing User Login
  8. Enter your ID (your email same as inputted to the application form) then your password.
  9. Upload your Mission Idea Contest Idea (As many ideas as you can)

Q. Is there any condition(s) required to apply in this contest?

A. No.

Q. How large can one team be?

A. As large as you like.

Q. Is their special format that I have to follow to write down my Proposal?

A. Yes. Please use the abstract template. abstract template, pdf abstract template, MS word

Q. Can we mail the design packet to you, instead of submitting online?

A. No, but if you found difficulties to use submitting online, please notify us (contest (at)
Also, Proposal sent by e-mail will not be accepted as online submission.
The online submission system, that will be open from October, will give you a confirmation and application number for any future inquires.


Q. Does the realization cover both the Nano-satellites hardware and launching cost?

A. Nano-satellites hardware and ground station should be covered, but you can exclude launching cost.

Q. We want to use stratosphere platforms, not satellites. Is it OK?

A. No.

Intellectual Property

Q. What is the policy on Intellectual Property Rights in the contest? Is there any clear guideline from organizers?

A. We don't think we can be responsible for protecting IP - it is the responsibility of the contestants. Applicants should protect their IP before they make it public or they should only talk of concepts that are open-source. It is the same as for publishing technical and marketing papers at conferences. The authors need to be aware of the IP risks and constrain their publications accordingly.

Evaluation and Award

Q. What are the criteria to pass the first stage and become finalists?

A. To convince the judges of the innovation and practicality of the proposed project.
Your proposal will be evaluated and scored (out of 100 points) with the following guideline among reviewers.
  • Original, sustainable nano-satellite mission idea (50 points)
    • Novel mission concept not yet realized or proposed, or a new implementation of an existing capability or service (20)
    • This is not intended to be a single mission but rather an on-going application providing a continuous useful capability (15)
    • Impact on society (15)
  • Mission Feasibility (50 points)
    • Technical (20)
    • Programmatic (cost estimate, development schedule, infrastructure requirements) (15)
    • Operational (description of ground segment and communications architecture, e.g., planned use of existing infrastructure) (15)

Q. When will the winners be announced?

A. In the end of January, 2011.

Q. What are the prizes for the winners?

A. Finalists will be invited to present in Japan at the 2nd Nano-satellite symposium. Awards: 1st prize, 500,000 JPY; 2nd prize, 300,000 JPY; 3rd prize, 200,000 JPY.

Q. How much support is allocated per team? (Updated on Sep 10, 2010)

A. We will cover two people's travel fees to Japan (economy class, discount ticket) and accommodation during your staying for attending the 2nd Nano-satellite symposium.
Please note that each finalist team is asked to concurrently submit a full paper to the 2nd Nano-satellite symposium by March 1st. Without the full paper submission, travel fees will not be supported.

Q. Will the finalists be supported for accommodation?

A. Yes, accommodation will be arranged by us for an adequate period to attend the 2nd nano-satellite symposium.

Q. Will the finalists living in Japan be supported for their domestic transportation and accommodation?

A. Yes.

Q. Can the winning proposal share in the realization of the project?

A. Yes, the winners will have an opportunity to discuss the realization of the project with Japanese engineers.

Final Presentation

Q. How long is the presentation per team? (Updated on Sep 10, 2010)

A. It depends on how many teams will be selected (ranging from 5 to 10 teams). We will let you know it when you are selected as finalist.

Q. How will you decide the order of the finalists' presentation?

A. By random selection.

Q. Can I download a final paper template?

Please download final paper template the final paper template.


Q. We need visa to go to Japan. If we are selected as finalists, can you financially support our visa applications?

A. Yes, two members per team will be supported financially in obtaining visa application. (All Receipts should be submitted.)

Q. How many visa applications can you support?

A. We support two members per team financially. We can send the invitation letter for the 2nd nano-satellite symposium, and if the embassy requires only the invitation letter for issuing Visa, we can send such letter to more visa applicants.

Q. In our county, it takes more than 3 months to issue visa. If we get an official invitation letter from you in January, it'd be too late for our visa application to go to Japan. Can we get to know whether we are selected as finalists in advance so that we can go ahead and obtain visa in time?

A. The other route to speed up the visa process is to express your willingness to the authorities (Japanese embassy) that you want attend the 2nd nano-satellite symposium on your own cost 3 months prior to the symposium and we can help you by sending invitation letter for this objective. In case that your proposal will be a wining proposal we can reimburse the cost of travel and visa application.

Contact: contest (at)

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