iMT-NASA 2018 Competition

iMT-NASA 2018 Winners Announcement

The most
imaginative minds
of this year

Whether we should go to Mars or not is a matter of debate. Many experts consider going to Mars a redundant endeavour as robots can explore the planet rather efficiently. Wise or redundant; it’s no question that having humans traveling beyond earth to outer space has captivated our imagination for decades. Many of our advanced technologies are created by such imaginative thinking about human activities in outer space. As promised last year, this year we wanted to sit with NASA and take a look at where your imaginative minds is going to take us on the topic of HUMANS BEYOND EARTH.
This idea illustration challenge held by iMT and NASA has expanded our take on possibilities of space exploration modalities and clarified our vision. Our judges; Dr. Omar Hatamleh chief innovation officer at NASA JSC, Charlie Wen former head of visual development at MARVEL and Dr. Barmak Heshmat CEO of iMT and former research scientist at MIT Media Lab have voted unanimously of the following idea illustrations to be recognized as the winners of the iMT-NASA 2018 challenge on HUMANS BEYOND EARTH. Without further ado our winners of 2018 iMT-NASA idea illustration challenge are:

At the
3rd place

Rajshekhar Dass from India with the idea of “Seeds on Mars”. Rajshekhar illustration is composed of 4 detailed beautiful visuals that explain how some pods can be shipped to Mars to set a foundation for life there. As imagined by Rajshekhar these pods are equipped with 3D printing and bio-synthesis equipments to convert the martian materials to foundation structures and farming biomaterials. Dr. Heshmat from iMT has loved the visuals of this piece and Dr. Hatamleh form NASA has praised this entry. In his comments on the piece Dr. Heshmat writes “ Rajshekhar illustration points to sustainability which is one of the absolute core topics in colonizing any remote destination. What makes this piece special for me is the elegance of architectures and geometry, I wish there was more attention to technicality and practicality, but as for design this piece wins my heart. ” Charlie Wen of MARVEL has critiqued the entry saying “I am missing visual connecting tissue; there are not much in between stages to tell a continuous story”.

At the
2nd place

Dominic Forlini from Blue Shift Industries, USA, with the idea of “Deployable in situ habitat system ”.
Dominic’s entry is composed of 3 visuals. One is dedicated to habitat infrastructure another is for construction equipments on Mars and the third one is a design of a terminal dedicated to orbital cargo delivery.
In his notes about this winner Charlie Wen writes ”I like that some of the breakdowns I was looking for is there. ” Dr. Heshmat has made a note as: “Lots of details on how Mars infrastructure might be made; there is definitely some notable details indicated that is not common in simple concept art. I also really like the blueprint schematic insets.”

At the
1st place

Kenny Levick from USA with extended ideas around different classes of habitats. The entry is composed of whopping 100+ hand sketches and visuals and blue prints along with colored renderings and 3D models packed into 4 posters which shows the amount of dedication of the artist to this topic.
Our Judges Dr. Hatamleh of NASA has praised this entry and writes: “The inflatable structure is actually very realistic and there are some companies that are pursuing this. The concept is doable and grounded and the design and graphics is fantastic. Absolutely loved it.” Charlie Wen of MARVEL has commented “I like how much he has put into this. It’s not just about the idea but the sense of how people actually interact with these ideas which is depicted here; because ultimately it’s about people. There is just so much more thought that is put into these. Also Kenny seems to have developed his own style that is bold that doesn’t look like anything I have seen.” Finally Dr. Heshmat has noted: “Beautiful massive leaps in imagination; there is so much details I feel each poster can be a book chapter by itself. Some of the ideas are rather heavy on the design side but I love the overall flow of the imagination in classifying these habitats from Mars to deep space .”
The winners were awarded recognition certificates hand signed by the judges. These winning illustrations and their artists and ideators will be featured by the Imaginarium of Technology on the facebook page (@imtspace). The winning illustrations were also presented (exhibited) at the NASA Cross Industry Innovation Summit held at Houston Texas 2018.
We thanks all the organizers, participants, curators, and especially our judges and press crew from NASA and iMT. To learn more about the announcement ceremony follow us on facebook @imtspace or on instagram @imtspace.

iMT-NASA 2017 winners announcement

Dr. Heshmat interview with Dr. Hatamleh

Dr. Heshmat interview with Charlie Wen


What  are the details of going beyond earth to the Moon, Mars and outer space. Do you have an idea, a vision that you think it’s novel in helping this mission?  How would our settlement work there; how will it look like? Get imaginative while staying grounded!


Show us something we haven’t seen in the movies and documentaries. iMT and  NASA are looking for such fresh ideas. So get innovative; think with an engineering mindset and draw with artistic skills. The key to winning this competition is in both practicality of design or idea and beauty of the art.


The winning concepts will be announced and presented in NASA cross industry innovation summit 2018, and the winners will get endorsed letters from the judges along with a trophy. The winning concepts and their creators will also be recognized on the iMT media outlets.

A few things before you get started

iMT and NASA have come together to find the most practical and beautiful visions and ideas on the theme of HUMANS BEYOND EARTH. This competition is for exposing true geniuses that are out there and want their ideas to be seen and heard in highly influential crowd of NASA Cross Industry Innovation Summit of 2018. This is an annual event where executives across different industries come together to talk about enhancing, applying, and nurturing innovation. iMT has worked diligently to provide this opportunity for free to innovative minds across the world of engineering and art; so that whoever has the talent and vision can be heard by the best of the best.


This competition is targeted toward brilliant engineers with good drawing skills or brilliant concept artists with relatively grounded ideas. If you are one of the two and you are generally a very imaginative person then your chances are high. If you have a great vision or idea but don’t have any illustration talent then team up with a concept artist online. You can use our platform; CGSociety, Artstation, our facebook page @imtspace or other artist forums.


We recommend submission of any related entry even if its recycling from your previous art works. However we are looking for entries that illustrates a detailed step of humans going beyond earth. Ask yourself; what are the phases of colonization of the Moon and Mars, what are the important moments in that journey, what are the tools that is needed; what are the things that could happen. Think about next 50 years but not much further. Try to stay away from pure sci-fi e.g. aliens, wormholes, and laser guns. You can explain your idea or components of your design with annotaion if its not self explanatory.


We do recommend use of our template with 4K (3840×2160) resolution, JPEG format, and the overlaid text “iMT-NASA 2018” at the right lower corner with your name and email under it. File size is limited to 3MB at 5000×2500 resolution and each team/person can upload up to 5 entries on the same or different ideas. (See template in the gallery section). The submission portal is at the bottom of this page, use the buttons on the orange menu bar to register and/or login then click the submission button to upload your entry. Once you submit your entry you will get a confirmation email or message and then you will hear back from us if your submission is approved for this competition; once approved the entry will appear in the gallery below the menu. Should you have any problems contact our admin Trevor Pan at


The deadline for this competition is November 3rd 11:59PM EST. At this time our submission portal will close and no more concepts can be submitted. The winners will be announced in the NASA Cross industry innovation summit on 7th of November and later on the same day through our facebook page @imtspace. The official announcements will be made later on this page and the trophies and endorsements will be sent out to the winners.

Our Judges are from a diverse background in concept art and engineering industry as announced below.

Our Judges

We are honored to announce our judges for this year’s competition

Charlie Wen

Former Co-Founder and Head of Visual Dev. at MARVEL Studios

Pioneer of Visual Storytelling for over two decades for the entertainment industry’s largest franchises, including 4 worldwide top 10 Films and triple A games. Charlie’s unrivaled creative leadership in story, character, and world creation has culminated in global smash hits such as Marvel’s The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, League of Legends, and God of War. He is most known for co-founding and heading Marvel’s Visual Development, being accountable for the look and feel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and creating God of War’s Kratos.

Omar Hatamleh


Dr. Hatamleh is Chief Innovation Officer of NASA and the Associate Chief Scientist at NASA ARC. In his capacity he is responsible for identifying new and promising areas of scientific research, and supporting technologies that can be integrated into the Center’s capabilities. Dr. Hatamleh also keeps abreast of ongoing work to ensure the Center research programs contribute effectively to national aerospace and scientific objectives. Previously Dr. Hatamleh was the Technology Relationship Manager for the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC).

Barmak Heshmat

Founder CEO of iMT, Research Scientist at MIT

Dr. Heshmat is the founder CEO of Imaginarium of  Technology (iMT) and former senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT he worked on imaging beyond conventional limitations of optics using ultrafast optics, nano optics and computational methods. Barmak has given invited talks at five TEDx events; published 23 journal papers and filed 9 patents in different fields of engineering ranging from robotics to optics. Some of his works have been featured on cover pages of MIT, Nature Photonics, BBC, TechCrunch, and many other media outlets.