Structure of Space Life Contest entry


Mori Ono

The Chalet space hotel is a complex design with many pieces providing living in space. Mori Ono, the creator of this multi-unit structure, won an honorable mention for his design. Ono plans on studying aerospace engineering in college.

Mori Ono, a sophomore at Community High School (CHS) and a participant in the National Space Society Space Settlement Contest, submitted his second entry in February. The contest asks participants to create a space settlement that exists freely in space without attaching to a planet or the moon.

Last year Ono explored what a space settlement would need in order to be sustainable, if people were really moving into and living in space. He focused on setting up infrastructure, gathering resources, and the framework of a space settlement.

He also talked about an international authority to coordinate efforts between countries and private companies to help them both succeed. This would also help space development by building fuel depots and mining bases on the moon and on asteroids to gather up the resources to build space settlements.

The 2018-2019 school year was his second year entering the contest. He received a grade ten honorable mention.
“It is not an improvement from last year but I think an award is an award, and nonetheless it has given me the experience to move on and try again next year,” Ono said.

In 2017, Ono found the contest while searching about space habitats. “I forgot about it, but then I remembered, oh, that’s something I could do,” Ono said.

Ono has been interested in space since he was three years old.  He is hoping to continue to study space when he goes to college as well. “I definitely would say that I want to go into aerospace engineering in college,” Ono said. He is interested in several top schools in engineering including: Stanford, MIT and University of Michigan.

Ono spent several months on his entry to the 2019 contest. His project called Chalet is over 50 pages of information from his own imagination. He created Chalet with knowledge that he has learned over his lifetime and incorporated that into his creation.  


“I saw the grand prize winning design on the website and I have also seen what other people have entered,” Ono said. “There is a really high bar and I want to stay in the competition so I wrote a lot and tried to make it real high quality,” he said.


Chalet is a space hotel design. Ono’s idea is meant to serve as a rest and recharge spot in space that prepares humanity for the next phase of space settlement. A Chalet is a wooden structure generally built on top of mountain sides and which originated in the Alpine Mountains of Southern Europe.

“Last summer I went to Glacier National Park, Montana, and while I was there I saw one on one of the long hiking trails. It’s a place for hikers to rest and recharge so they’ll be more energized and more prepared for the next part if the hike and I made an analogy about it and so this space station acts as a model.

“I asked my parents for advice on the name because that was difficult,” Ono said. “My dad is a professor at the University of Michigan, he has a lot of experience editing long texts, especially academic writing like this project. He was a huge help in helping me edit the work so it is more understandable. I also got help from George [Lancaster] the engineering teacher at Community High School. I had a few questions especially on the drawings, I wanted to make sure that it was communicating the whole size of it.” He has been apart of the Engineering Design class that Lancaster teaches at CHS.

“For the past two years I have been doing this individually. Hopefully next year I can enter as a small group in the small group category,” Ono said.

Ono wants to try new ideas and work with a team to help him create an improved project. Since he was very young, he has aspired to be an aerospace engineer. His interests lead him to finding the Space Settlement Contest. The experience and education that he has gained from participating has kept him interested in space.