Judging and Awards


Judging will occur at each location under the direction of the local hosts, who can determine judging categories and processes. Each local event can nominate up to two projects to advance to global judging. Each location can decide on their own judging criteria, but here are some elements you may want to invite your judges to consider:

  • Impact: How much impact (quality and quantity) can this project have? Does it solve a big problem or a little problem?
  • Creativity: How creative is the approach? Is the project new and something that hasn’t been attempted before? Is it something that isn't being addressed by the market?
  • Product: How well does this project fit the needs of the challenge it addresses? How user friendly is the technology? Is it a complete solution or does it have a long way to go?
  • Sustainability: How good is the plan for next steps? How prepared is the project team to continue their work beyond the event? Is the project organized in a way so others can take the project to the next level?
  • Presentation: How well did the team communicate their project? Are they effective in telling the story of the project and why it is important?

In addition, each local event may select one People's Choice nomination to forward to the Space Apps team. People's Choice can be selected in a process determined by the local hosts, such as by popular vote of the local participants at the event or using local judging panels. The local nominations that move forward for global judging will be required to provide a one-minute video within one week of the event to be used in the global judging process. Project pages will remain open the week after the Space Apps event for teams to be able to submit video. The deadline to submit videos for global nominees is Sunday April 19th at midnight (local time).

Please note that Virtual location projects must be submitted by midnight Pacific Standard Time on Sunday, April 12th. For the Virtual location, the NASA Space Apps team will select two projects to be nominated for global judging in the week following Space Apps and will invite those teams to post their one-minute videos.


In the global judging round, a panel of NASA judges will select winners in each of the five finalist categories: Best Mission Concept, Best Use of Hardware, Best Use of Data, Most Inspiring, and Galactic Impact. The judges will review the finalists based on a short project description, a one-minute video, and project page links. Any code developed during the event weekend must be open source. To be eligible for global judging your project page must include a link to the code in a public repository.

Global winners will be eligible to attend a NASA launch event. Winners and one guest will be required to pay their own expenses. NASA will supply transportation to and from the launch site.


The top 15 People’s Choice candidates will be announced on the Space Apps website. The public can vote for their favorites via social media. NASA’s Space Apps team will collect social media analytics to determine the winning team. The winning team will be determined based on a formula that will take into account the number of tweets, unique users and timeline deliveries.

NASA’s Space Apps team will make every effort to notify global winners within one month following the April event.