Canadian Space Agency Announces Winners of the 2023 Space Apps Challenge

NASA led Space Apps Challenge. Image credit: NASA.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has announced the winners of the Canadian challenges of the global Space Apps Challenge.

The CSA had a set of national awards for the annual global Space Apps Challenge started by NASA in 2012. In Canada, 1300 students from 12 cities participated.

The national awards included the Stargazer and Moonwalker prizes. Each of the prize categories was based on the level of complexity with the Stargazer prize being a “regular” complexity and the Moonwalker an “advanced” challenge.

The prize structure was as follows:

  • 1st place: Space Apps Challenge Canada bag containing CSA merchandise and virtual mentoring with CSA experts.
  • 2nd and 3rd places: Space Apps Challenge Canada bag containing CSA merchandise.

The CSA stated that “This year the CSA provided about 60 Canadian open resources and datasets to help participants around the world with their challenges. In addition, two Canadian challenges were offered for participants to tackle. The objective of the first challenge, ‘Too long, didn’t read: what’s up in space?’, was to take large amounts of data and present it in a way that allows decision-makers to get the information they need at a glance.”

“As for the second challenge, ‘Curiosity Collective,’ the objective was to design or promote a citizen science project using Canadian open data. Each challenge was offered in two streams based on level of complexity: Stargazer (regular) and Moonwalker (advanced). This is a way for the CSA to encourage various participation levels, including youth and coding beginners. Participants also had the option to take on one of NASA’s many challenges.”

The winners for the Space Apps Stargazer challenge are:

  • First place – The Science Professor (Inuvik): Narek Hambardzumyan – Narek tackled the Curiosity Collective challenge to explain why the CASSIOPE satellite is important for studying space weather.
  • Second place – The Space Place (Inuvik): Davit Hambardzumyan – Davit also tackled the Curiosity Collective challenge. His project goes into detail about the importance of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission and why we need it as Canadians.
  • Third place – GeoSpace Explorers (Calgary): Nicole Tan and Ante Rakotoarison – For the Too Long, Didn’t Read challenge, this team designed an interactive educational app for students in grades 5 to 7. The objective of the app is to enhance their understanding of space-related topics and satellite launches.

The winners for the Space Apps Moonwalker challenge are:

  • First place – Space Ninjas (Toronto): Mishal Vellani, Farees Ahmed, Hajer Al Obeidli, Giuliano De Francesco, and Kyle Truong – This team took on the Curiosity Collective challenge. They created the Blaze Alert app, which aims to improve emergency declarations and enable direct communication for all Canadian communities.
  • Second place – Fire link (Halifax): Aniq Elahi, Jasper Grant, Aishik Sanyal, Christian Simoneau, and Paras Nath Seth – To solve the Too Long, Didn’t Read challenge, this team created a software map with real-time updatable satellite and aerial photography maps that allows for up-to-the-second information about fires and other natural disasters.
  • Third place – Error418 (Toronto): Sterling Huang, Sebastian Arellano-Rubach, Soham Chakraborty, Lucas Craiu, Tony Yuan, and Jarmin Weng – This team came up with a creative solution to the Curiosity Collective challenge. They created a Web application that gives everyone the possibility of admiring the beauty of space through a specialized algorithm to generate music that captures the hidden secrets of space.

NASA will announce the global winner in January from a group of 40 teams of which two are from Canada, Satellite Campus 2.0 and Null Terminators.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

Leave a Reply