The International Space Apps Challenge is a two-day technology development event, that brings together techies across the world to address current challenges relevant to both space exploration and social need. It is an annual competition organized by NASA. The local chapter of the event will be held at iHub, on 20th – 21st April 2013, hosted by m:lab East Africa and iHub.


The International Space Apps Challenge is an international hackathon-style event that takes place over a 48 hour period in cities on all seven continents. NASA is leading the international collaboration with 8 other government agencies and 90 additional organizations.

The Space Apps Challenge is more than just cool NASA tech. It is also concerned with a fundamental transformation of how we interact with technology at a cultural and social level. It aims to both cultivate and contribute to the growth of open government, open data and civic hacking.

Previous events

Last year, iHub made hosted its inaugural International NASA Space Apps Challenge in partnership with FabLab Nairobi which turned out to be quite a success. The event brought together programmers, hackers and tech enthusiasts from different backgrounds as a chance to showcase their diverse skill-sets on a collaborative platform. This offered the participants a great opportunity  to both gain access to the tools and skills needed to build the different projects, as well as engage them into sharing knowledge and ideas. Moreover, one of the  participating teams in addition to winning the “People’s Choice category”  on the international NASA Challenge platform, went on to be incorporate by Access:energy for the maintenance of wind powered electricity in Kenya’s rural communities through the use electronic data mining.

Event Challenges

The challenges for the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge will be focused on improving life on Earth and life in space in the areas of open source software, open hardware, data visualization and citizen science.

These challenges will form the focus of the event and will be based on problem statements that fall into two main categories: focus on space exploration or focus on benefiting humanity (either locally or  globally). We recognise the fact that other problems may not meet this criteria, and for this reason,they unfortunately will not considered for this particular event.

We encourage participants to come up with project ideas. in the four aforementioned categories, that frame a general challenge or offer new dimensions on an existing project, this way create a new variant or start a new solution.

At the events, individuals collaborate with others by forming teams focused on solving a particular challenge. The teams compete with other teams around the world to utilize publicly available space and data to design innovative solutions to a pre- determined series of global challenges.


Anyone can participate in the International Space Apps Challenge 2013. The challenge requires individuals with a broad range of skills and with this in mind,we are looking for engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs  and anyone else with a passion for changing the world.

Participants are encouraged to develop mobile apps, software and hardware, data visualization, and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. Register today and get to participate in the challenge, follow the link below to register. http://spaceappschallenge.org/location/nairobi/ . The deadline for registration is 7th April, 2013.

Categories: Robotics, Technology
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