Local Schulich AeroDesign Team to help host the NASA Space Apps Challenge in October

July 29th, 2021

Space Apps Challenge

Schulich AeroDesign is working to host this year's Calgary location of the NASA Space Apps Challenge.


Liana Goodman


May Chan, Noor Awan

NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge is a chance to build innovative solutions to the challenges we face on Earth and in space. People from all over the world can participate in this challenge regardless of discipline or previous experience. The hackathon is an opportunity to collaborate with people from all over the world, including professionals from NASA and other space agency partners, such as the Canadian Space Agency. This year’s event will run virtually on October 2nd and 3rd.

A hackathon is a large event where teams of people come together to collaboratively code in a short period of time. At the end of the period, submissions are sent to a panel of judges who grade the submissions based on a criteria. For the Space Apps Challenge, the judges come from partnering agencies to build a panel of space professionals. Every year, NASA chooses a theme for the hackathon: this year, the theme is “The Power of Ten” in honour of this being the 10th Space Apps Challenge. 

Though the work of a hackathon is concentrated on a single weekend, NASA makes sure that this is also a learning opportunity leading up to the main event.

July 15th

The Space Apps Challenge opened on July 15th to allow people to register to their location. Participants can work in teams or individually through out the competition. Registration for Calgary can be found here.

July — August

Participants start receiving messages about the challenge through their portal. They can also begin exploring and sharing stories about other’s experiences.


The challenge statements for that year are posted and participants can begin exploring challenges and their ideas in preparation for the work in October.


Channels open for participants, allowing them to begin communicating with others at their location.

As well, the virtual bootcamp becomes available. The bootcamp includes videos and tutorials about the hackathon. It allows participants to learn valuable insights from NASA experts and local leads in preparation for the hackathon experience.

One week before the hackathon begins, individuals can register their teams of up to 5. Individuals without a team can engage in the chats to find other members with whom to compete, or they can participate on their own.

The local Calgary section of the Space Apps challenge is being hosted in collaboration between our Schulich AeroDesign team (SAED), SEDS-Canada, and AC Robotics. Schulich AeroDesign is actively working to promote, organize, and carry out the hackathon, through marketing, outreach, and engagement with the university community. SAED hopes to use this opportunity to connect with students and staff, while providing a platform to talented individuals from different faculties to showcase their skills!