Topic outline

  • 1. spUN Virtual Debates (Ages 14 -18)

    The spUN Virtual Debates 2022!

    Last updated:  11/23/2021

    This site will let you know pertinent information for spUN Debate 2022 Application and the events for the 2022 spUN Debate season.  This is an international event and invites the participation of a diverse group of students ages 14 -18 from all countries.  

    Never debated before?  Our program helps you get started so that when you are assigned to a team, you know the fundamentals of debating and are ready to learn,. develop skills in research, critical thinking, organization, persuasion and communication.  You will have an opportunity to experience cultural perspectives that impact how we develop working relationships here on Earth and consider paving the way for successful harmonious space settlements.

    The 2022 spUN Debates Application are now extended until Dec.8, 2021 ! 

    You are invited to the table!

    • 2. 2022 spUN Debate Schedule

      2022 spUN Debates Program Schedule

       Updated 11/23/2021

      OCTOBER 18, 2021 - Applications are open 
      DECEMBER 8, 2021 - Applications are closed;  Application fee due.
      DECEMBER 19 , 2021 - Debater Candidates Announced 
      DECEMBER 26, 2021- Candidate Response to Continue and Prep Course Open
      JANUARY 15  ,  2022 -Debaters complete on-line Debate Prep Course
      JANUARY 22,    2022 – Announcement of final team configurations and alternates to coaches

      JANUARY 30,    2021-   Coaches meeting

      FEBRUARY 6,    2022-  Announcement of Team and Coach selections; Resolution Announced; Coaches and teams begin their work.

      MARCH 6,    2022-  Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds presents "Universalization" to university debaters, H.S.
                                debaters, coaches, judges
      MARCH 19/ 20 , 2022 – Virtual Practice Debate Tournament -- Debate 2022 resolution
      APRIL 31 , MAY 1 , MAY 7 , 8 , 2022 - Preliminary Virtual Rounds of 2022 spUN Debates
      May 27/29, 2022 -Finals of the Virtual debate to be streamed to: NSS International Space Development Conference 2022 located in Arlington, VA, USA

      • 3. Information on the Concept of Universalization used in the spUN 2022 Debates

        The spUN Debates began in 2017 at the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference in St. Louis, MO, USA.  Dr. LJ Edmonds gave a presentation to international students on the topic of universalization, a concept for cooperation and living that will greatly impact space development.  Several students and a teacher engaged in an animated discussion of the impacts universalization could have on space settlement but also on how we successfully and harmoniously move forward in Earthly policies and interactions!

        Here are some videos that resulted from the subsequent spUN Debate Tournaments (pre-COVID-19) in 2018 and 2019. The first video is an overview of the 2018 debates...

        Please take a moment to see the impact the study of the universalization concept made on the student debaters.  

        ...and the second video talks about the practicalities of space living, like how to buy chocolate in space! 

        The next video is from a podcast in which Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds was interviewed by Starcast about the universalization concept.  This concept is very important in our debates, both to see the concept in the  debate arguments, and also as a guide in  the  conduct of everyone in the NSS spUN Debate Organization.

        We hope these resources will  give you great food for thought!

        • 4. spUN Application Information

          The completed application must be submitted by Dec 1, 2021. Your confirmation message will direct you to the link for the payment of the $15 application fee, also due on Dec. 1, 2021. A fee waiver is available and  is found in Section  5. The announcement regarding selections for the debate teams is expected around Dec. 19, 2021 and will go to your personal email as indicated on the application.

          The link to the application is found at the bottom or the page.

          For further questions kindly contact us at:

          Instructions for the spUN 2022 Application:

          PART A: General Information 

          1.  “Full Name” Generally full name indicates First Middle and Last name, if you don’t have a middle name, you can leave that field blank and just write your first and last name.  These names will be used on your certificates. So take care and fill them out  correctly!

          2.  “Date of Birth”  - Follow the format

          3.  Your age “As of May 27, 2022” for example if you are 16 presently and your birthday is on 3rd Jan,you must fill 17 in the application not 16. 

          4.  Your grade (as of May 27, 2022).

          5.  Please fill in your full school name, avoid abbreviations and school address. 

          A press release is planned to reach your school following the tournament, so please ensure that your school details are accurate and complete. 

          Make sure to write out your school entirely without any abbreviations. Many people put abbreviations for their school names, but that won’t be accepted. 

          6.  Your home address. Fill in the information in the format of city, state and Nation of residence. Please avoid abbreviations that are not in common global use.  

          7.  Your personal email address is very, very important.   Please note: All the Debate information will be sent to this email address and  emails may be urgent and require an immediate reply, so make sure you check your email messages every few days!

          8.  Mobile number which you would like us to use to contact you, Please state your relation to the owner of the number. Make sure to mention your country code. This is important for different messaging platforms that may be used.

          Ex: 99-xxxxxx23 (Father) or 97-xxxxxx39 (Personal) or 1-xxxxxxxxxxx56 (Guardian)  The  country code might be 99, or 97, or 1.

          7.  “State your gender identity,” is optional. Indicate the identification pronoun you use, if you wish. (he/him,  she/her/  they/them)

          8.  “Explain any public speaking and debate experience you have had.  (It is not necessary to have formal debate training to qualify for the spUN Debates!) A part of spUN Debates program is to train students in debating space policy.  (20 - 100 words)”

          PART B: Permission/Recommendation, etc.

          1.  “A Parent or Guardian’s Permission is required for any student under 18 at the time of debate to participate in the debate, also that parent / guardian must verify the information filled in the application.”  

          Please  fill in : Parent / Guardian Name and then check the box “yes” if your parent / guardian has permitted you to participate

          2.  Submit/attach a recommendation from your teacher. Note: The letter will be used in our selection criteria and therefore, is very important. Your recommendation must be unique; if there are multiple students from the same school, you may use the same teacher for your recommendation. However, each teacher must write a unique letter for each student they recommend. If student recommendations are found to be the same, then they will not be considered and the applicant may be disqualified from participating.  Each school may have a maximum of 10 students applying for consideration in the spUN Debates 2022.

          3.  Enter the details about the teacher writing your recommendation such as name, email and phone number with country code, If you are homeschooled your recommendation letter can be written by your homeschool provider  . 

          Please note that the teacher’s email address and phone number might be used to contact you in the event that we cannot reach you by your primary contacts, and remember our goal is to keep you informed!

          PART C: Video, Essays

          PART C  is  the most important part because it helps the selection committee determine your personal attributes that will help build a dynamic debate team.  

          1.  You will need to provide a short video that introduces yourself and some interesting things about you (max: 2 min.). This should be a video shot with a still camera, no embellishments, please. Clearly give and speak your first name and last name to title your video. Do not shoot in open spaces or a hallway and try to look directly into the camera, speak clearly and slowly and try not to read your information. Make sure that your video is clearly understandable and avoid any echo effect. Be sure that you share your video with us through an internet link. YouTube or Google Drive may be provided in the space on the application. Ask a friend to test your link to make sure it is accessible and viewable.

          2.  After uploading the link, for the next  question you will need to watch the universalization video links which is provided in the Section 3.  Make sure you watch the video carefully and use information from the video to help you answer the questions thoughtfully. The answer is your own, and  not found in the video.  The video is meant to give you something to consider for your answer.  Each answer must be from 50 to 150 words. The selection committee wants you to impress them so allow yourself to be thorough.

          Here is the essay question-

          Authors have written that we have an ‘obligation’ to settle space.  

          Please write (50 min - 150 max words) an original, thoughtful, and logical  explanation of how the word ‘obligation’ may indeed be the correct word needed in this instance.

          Your answer should be unique and suitable for the question. Submit your answer  in a word document or a pdf and attach it in the application. The Selection Committee wants you to voice your personal ideas, so be aware that  if two or more students have the same answer or the answer shows plagiarism and the application may be disqualified.

          Before you finally submit your application, make sure all your application fields are completed to the best of your ability. 

          A confirmation message will inform you that your application has been received and will direct you to the NSS store to purchase your $15 payment to complete your spUN application process.

          Here is the link to fill out your application to be considered for the 2022 spUN Debate Program.  

          We wish you the best of luck!

          • 5. Instructions to Purchase an Application Fee from the NSS Store

            To pay the required $15.00 fee to complete your spUN Debates 2022 application, go to:


            This is the landing page for the NSS store, spUN Debate Application fee.  You may enter more than one fee.

            Enter how many fees you would like to pay and continue.  

            Check to see if you have correctly indicated  the number of fees you wish to pay.

            This is the upper part of the cart info.  Fill out the info for who owns the card or the account.

            This is the bottom of the cart information.  Continue to complete this form  and there is a very important part hereThe comment section MUST have the name of the student whose fee is being paid.  If this purchase covers the spUN Application fee  for several students, the full names of those students needs to appear in the comment box.  We can only verify the applicant who is being paid for if the name/s appear in this comment box.

            Then proceed to confirmation and check out.  Keep your records of your payment.

            • 7. spUN Debate Coaches Needed

              Debate Coaches Needed!


              The National Space Society's SpacEdge Education Team  is seeking experienced debate coaches of all ages who are interested in working on the SpUN Virtual Debates 2022.  Coaches work virtually with students from around the world to prepare for space policy debates. (Commitment is from Feb. - May, 2022 ).

              This is a great opportunity for you to add to your resume and to help students from around the world articulate ideas and consider STEAM careers ! 

              The TASK:  coaches work virtually (at least once a week) with diverse teams to prepare/consult. Resolutions will be sent out and an on-line curriculum will be available to provide background in both space content and debate techniques.  Coaches will refine strategies for research, cases, rebuttals, teamwork, presentation style, speed (NO SPREADING).
              CHALLENGES:  students compete from around the world, so finding times to communicate is sometimes challenging (up to debate coach to determine). 
              Dates:  While the registration window opens soon, coach commitments would not begin until February (students assigned to teams and coaches) The overall consult would occur February- May, 2022 at coaches’ discretion.
              What’s in it for you?:  In addition to helping debate become an international skill, coaches would get
              ·      A complimentary full year membership to the National Space Society
              ·      Certificate of international coaching participation suitable for PD or for your professional file.


              If interested in being a part of this amazing opportunity or to find out more, please contact :

                              Frances Dellturi ( .

              To be considered for a spUN Coaching spot, please fill out the Coaches Survey: