Off to Houston! Students from Twente win space travel competition

Taking a look behind the scenes at space agency NASA in Houston, USA, for two weeks. Bram Knobbe (4 VWO) from Warderborch in Holten and Karlijn van Alstede (5 VWO) from the Bonhoeffer College High School in Enschede have the opportunity to do this. The students participated in the final of space travel competition “Countdown to Houston” on behalf of their schools. The final was organised by Techniekpact Twente and the United Space School. It took place on Friday, the 14th of February, 2020, in the Gallery in Enschede. The eight finalists were the winners of the preliminary rounds at the five Technasia in Overijssel. They were instructed to think about the colonisation of an exoplanet in the finals. The finalists presented their ideas about such a mission in a video pitch, in English.

In short

  • Space travel competition Countdown to Houston took place on Friday, the 14th of February.
  • Two students from Twente won the first prize: a trip to Houston for a look behind the scenes at NASA.

Global Goal

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Exoplanet colonisation

The first prize, a ticket to Houston, was won by Bram Knobbe and Karlijn van Alstede. In his report, Bram investigated how we can get to an exoplanet and how we can start colonising it. Bram stood out to the jury because of his originality and because he had thought of every detail. Karlijn has mainly thought about what we want to achieve with the mission, why do we want to carry it out and who has an interest in this mission? Karlijn’s creativity and perfect calculations convinced the jury to award her a ticket to Houston as well.


In the second half of July 2020, they will follow a space travel programme at NASA, together with 50 other students from all over the world. They will meet astronauts, prepare a manned trip to Mars and much more. Bram and Karlijn enthusiastically received the prize in the presence of family and previous participants of the Houston programme. They are very excited and look forward to the coming summer!

Date: 18 February 2020 |

Source of tekst: Techniekpact Twente |