All your Space Apps questions answered in one place.


When will Space Apps take place?

The International Space Apps Challenge will take place on the 11th and 12th of April 2015, and will be preceded by a bootcamp event on April 10th 2015 that will be live-streamed globally.

Who is leading the Space Apps Challenge?

NASA is collaborating with individuals and organizations around the world on the International Space Apps Challenge to fulfill the United States’ commitments to the Open Government Partnership.

What hashtag should we be using?

Always use #spaceapps, and you can also add city abbreviations if you like (e.g. #TO or #PHL). Each challenge statement also has its own hashtag.

Do we get to talk to the Space Station?

Unfortunately we won't be able to talk live to the International Space Station this year - crew scheduling doesn't permit it.

Can my project go to space?

It totally can! We can't promise that it will - Space Apps does not provide a specific mechanism to send projects to space at this time, but with the right solution that fits a specific need in space, anything is possible.


Who can participate in the Challenge?

Anyone can participate in the International Space Apps Challenge. It requires individuals with a broad range of skills. We are looking for engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs – anyone who has a passion for changing the world and is willing to contribute.

When does registration for participants open?

Participant registration should open 2 March 2015. You can register to attend at a physical location or virtually. Later you can form a project team from a challenge page.

Where can I register / participate virtually?

Registration for participants will open in early March. When you register you can choose a location where you can participate, or select "virtual" if there is not a physical location near you.

Is there a minimum age required for participation in Space Apps?

We do not set a minimum age for participation in Space Apps, and many youth and children have participated in past events. We only note that participants under 13 must have a parent or guardian register for them and attend with them. Many events have special events planned for younger students, but qualified, interested students are certainly invited to participate in the regular challenges (in line with the legal policy and any requirements set by the local lead.)

How will teams be put together?

You can join a team on the day of the event based on your interest in a particular challenge or a match of skills. Your local event organizers can help you to find the right team for you. You are also welcome to form your team in advance and come to the event together.

How many team members can we have?

As many (or as few) as you'd like to have. We particularly encourage you to meet and collaborate with new people who have very different skills from yours. Bringing together very diverse skills and talents is often a key to breakthrough innovation!

Do all members a team have to register on spaceappschallenge.org? Or is it enough to list the names of other team members on our project page?

All team members should register on the Space Apps site so we can be sure we have resources (at both physical locations and virtually) to support everyone who will be participating. Moreover, you will not be able to add your team members to your project page if they have not registered on spaceappschallenge.org.

Is the event limited to just software development?

Absolutely not! We need people with all types of skills to participate in the International Space Apps Challenge! Teams need project managers, designers, artists, educators, writers - anyone who can help advance the cause. You can definitely contribute! Participants in the event will collaborate to build software, open hardware, data visualization, and citizen science platform solutions that contribute to space exploration and solve global challenges that focus on improving life on earth. In fact, most teams will benefit from having non-programmers working with them.

Since the event is called Space Apps, do the solutions need to be applications?

In spite of the name, it is not just about APPS! There are challenges that involve robotics, data visualization, hardware, design, and many other elements!

Will be there an audience while groups are working at the physical locations?

There may be visitors coming to check out the action, as well as press and others who are interested in covering the activities happening at Space Apps, but no, there should not be an audience. If you do see people milling around just watching, get them involved in a project team so they can contribute to the problem-solving!

When is the time frame for virtual participation?

Great question! Virtual participation will begin on Saturday morning GMT and continue through the weekend. Virtual participants will be able to join an on-boarding session to get up to speed and get started on projects. We will publish a more detailed schedule and ways to connect as virtual participants in the next week!

Will we get certificates for participating?

Local leads Certificates may be provided by your local leads at your location. If you are interested, please contact your local lead.

Can NASA Civil Servants and Contractors Participate in the Challenge?

Anyone is welcome to register to participate in the International Space Apps Challenge. Federal employees of NASA are prohibited from volunteering their time with teams to create solutions. NASA subject matter experts require supervisor approval. See the Space Apps legal page for details. NASA employees who participate will engage in the challenge in their personal capacity (i.e. identifying themselves by their own names and without referencing their NASA employment) on a voluntary basis outside their working hours, and will not be entitled to compensation for their time. NASA contractors should refer all questions regarding their participation to the corresponding contracting officer.

Can staff of locations participate in the challenge?

Absolutely! As long as you can run your event (or have your team help run your event) if you have time to help on a project, then by all means, please do.


What challenges will be addressed at the event?

The 2015 challenge will be posted on March 11, 2015 and will be clustered around the following themes: Earth, Outer Space, Humans, Robotics. You can see the challenges from Space Apps 2014 at this URL: https://2014.spaceappschallenge.org/challenge/.

If challenges are posted in March, doesn't that open up for "cheating", i.e. people working on the challenge before the actual event?

We want to encourage your enthusiasm, so you are welcome to form teams before the event and to start figuring out how you will tackle the challenges. Of course, there is no need to do anything in advance, it's entirely up to you. The two day event gives your team a chance to work together in person and we hope you will do most of the work over the weekend so that you can work collaboratively with others. The idea is not for you to just build the best app ever. It's to create a team who will do something better than any of us can do on our own.

Can I download the list of challenges for translating them into the local language?

Unfortunately, functionality to download the challenge text does not currently exist, but if you need challenges in Word format for translation to local languages, they will be available at this link after March 11th, 2015.


Can I create my own location team? If so, then how? Can someone from another country join another location team ?

You can absolutely create a team to work on a project together. You can either form a team at a physical event, or you can form a team virtually that includes people participating at other locations or people who are only participating virtually (at the virtual location). We are happy to see collaboration of teams across countries! Any cross-location team will need to choose which event they would like to be judged at--they must submit their project for judging at a site where at least one person is in physical attendance to present the project. A few days before the Space Apps event you will be able to create a project page on the website and can add all your team members there so that all are linked to the project.

How do I put my project up online?

The Project pages will be opened just a few days before the event weekend and specific instructions will be shared at that point. At a basic level it will involve putting up a project page during the event with a description of your project and associated links, and uploading a video. Beyond that, teams will be able to add the information they feel is most relevant.

Should all teams create project pages on spaceappschallenge.org? Or only the local winners?

All teams should create a project page, regardless of whether they go on to global judging. Your project page should also be sure to list all project participants.

Do code and comments have to be in English?

English is strongly preferred for these items, as it is the language Space Apps is led in and that most of us have in common - making your work accessible to the largest number of people. Working in another language, however, does not disqualify you.

What about licensing and IP rights?

All solutions built at the event must be submitted under an open source license that permits the free and open dissemination of the work. NASA and the other supporting organizations do not own the rights to nor are committed to utilize any solution developed during the event. See the legal statement for more details.


Where can I report a bug on the spaceappschallenge.org website?

Thank you for taking the time to report any bugs that you encounter. Bug reports should be sent to [email protected]. When you send a bug, please indicate the browser and version you are using to view the site.