NASA Centaur Art Challenge


We held a Google Hangout between artists and a NASA engineer on 1/31. Watch it here:  Link

Watch the follow up Hangout from 2/14 here: Link

Now, about the project….

NASA and Ingenuity are teaming up to help celebrate one of the most important projects in America’s exploration of space:  The Centaur upper stage rocket developed at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dubbed “America’s Workhorse in Space”,  Centaur has been central to launching a tremendous variety of the nation’s most demanding space missions over a period of decades. Centaur has been used to launch most of U.S. lunar & interplanetary missions (such as Voyager to the outer planets, Viking to the surface of Mars, Cassini to Saturn, Surveyor series to the lunar surface, Mariner series to the inner solar system, and New Horizons to the Pluto/Kuiper Belt).

After its utilization in more than 200 unmanned missions, NASA GRC is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Centaur with an educationally inspired art competition in partnership with Ingenuity. The goals of this competition are to commemorate the anniversary, while conveying some of the key engineering accomplishments of the Centaur Program to the artistic community and the general public.

Artists of any discipline and age are invited to submit proposals or work to the competition. Prizes will include:

  • Featured display at IngenuityFest 2014
  • Exclusive tours at NASA
  • Viewing of test-firing (schedule permitting)
  • Work featured at NASA Glenn Research Center

Work will be evaluated by the following:

  • Artistic merit
  • Communication of Centaur’s unique characteristics

There are a whole host of prizes from NASA listed here: Link

What are the Centaur’s unique characteristics?

  • Hydrogen propulsion: most powerful propellant in use, while extremely difficult to engineer
  • Cryogenic support systems: insulation, impact on structure, fluid management
  • High performance: most powerful rocket system for most demanding missions
  • Superior high accuracy guidance system

How do I learn more?

Ingenuity and NASA will be conducting Google Hangouts.  This is a chance for artists to interact with NASA engineers, ask questions about Centaur, it’s engineering, missions, and history.   To participate in these hangouts, please tune in here: Link

You can also read more about Centaur at the following links:


Deadline for entry will be May 1, 2014.

Please note: Your entry does not have to be a finished piece of artwork, although finished pieces are welcome too. If you are not submitting a finished project, we will need a sample of your work and a proposal as part of our pre-screening process. A set of projects from this competition will be selected to be showcased at IngenuityFest 2014.

The Centaur Art Challenge online entry form can be accessed here:

If you have hard copies to send, you’ll be directed to an address after completing the form.