West Aussies take on the universe at NASA Space Apps global finals


// Perth is never short of exceptional talent and for the 4th year in a row, a local team has made the global finals …

Each year the International NASA Space Apps Challenge takes place in the second half of the year.

The CORE Innovation hub along with Space Hub Perth hosted this year’s hackathon on the 3-4 October.

Like so many events this year it went virtual, with teams fighting it out to tackle the challenges of space science and exploration.

With over 2300 projects resulting from the Space Apps challenge, two of Perth’s own teams made their mark.

Perth finalist!

System Health Lab (Frinze Lapuz, Sophie Giraudo, Eddie Atkinson and Matteo Vinci) and Loud & Clear (Scitech – Lisa Fletcher, James Pritchard, Leon Smith, Robyn Shrosbree, Michael Sequeira and Quinton Soe-Win) won the Perth rounds, with Loud & Clear nominated as one of the 40 Global Finalists in 2020.

It’s not the first time the Scitech team has reached these heights, last year we had one of six global honourable mentions.

The System Health Lab team developed a sleep scheduling tool.

Without day and night, or the ability to bask in our great Perth sunshine, astronauts need a way to help them schedule sleep, exercise, and nutrition to manage fatigue.

“We came, we saw, we ate burritos, and we solved – we love space apps!”

Perth Global Finalist Team Loud & Clear at the end of the hackathon weekend

Loud & Clear took on the challenge of remote communications.

Loud & Clear Team

The project was an interactive game that explored the challenge of communicating with astronauts on Mars from Earth, including those pesky time delays.

For one thing, it takes between 4 to 24 minutes for a radio signal to go from Earth to Mars?

Perth, a space to flourish

With a small but growing community, Perth is shaping up to be a genuine contender in space technology.

“We are thrilled that Perth teams consistently bring enthusiasm to participate and are recognised for their outstanding capability in solving challenges on a global stage.”

Conrad Pires, founder and CEO of Picosat Systems, Space Hub Perth Lead, CORE Space Startup in Residence

Perth space innovators aren’t confined to award winning competitions with companies like space trash mitigation company Exodus Systems and a number of others going through local accelerator Quantum Technology Exchange earlier this year.

The state is also home to Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre, which created world leading projects such as the Desert Fireball Network, Fire Opal, and Binar CubeSats.

One of this year’s judges for the Space Apps event, Joshua Letcher, founder and CEO of Space Industries, was a finalist for the inaugural Australian Space Awards 2020.


Disclosure: Startup News is a sponsor of NASA Space Apps