The national New Zealand Space Challenge is brought to you by partners ChristchurchNZ and SpaceBase to develop and apply space data and space technologies to solve current problems today. 

This Challenge is for everyone who's got a great idea to develop, or an already existing solution being used elsewhere that could solve the problem!

For more information about the annual NZ Space Challenge please go to  and check out the FAQs

The 2019 NZ Space Challenge will commence at TechWeek 2019 next year giving applicants 6 months to work on their applications for a grand finals in November.  Request for Proposals for the 2019 Challenge will be underway shortly.  Stay tuned for more details.

This year's Challenge:

With Antarctica as an analogue of future space exploration, the 2018 Challenge seeks innovative solutions to enable safer, more efficient navigation across Antarctica.

Problem Statement for the Inaugural 2018 New Zealand Space Challenge: (Awarded May 24, 2018)

Use new or current technologies or data, in space or on the ice to, (a) find the best methods to identify hazards and map a path across the ice, and/or (b) design or prototype new sensor systems and algorithms to help vehicles navigate across the ice in Antarctica.

Check out the videos of the final pitches and award ceremony for the NZ Space Challenge.
Check out the SpaceBase Youtube Channel for briefings and training sessions delivered for the Challenge.

Results of the 2018 New Zealand Space Challenge:  

Congratulations to GPS Control Systems Ltd and John Ahearn from Tauranga for winning the $40k grand prize and Soda Link program!!  Details and more on the finalist here.

The other finalists were:

  • Christchurch, Canterbury, Marlborough and West Coast

JIX Limited and Orbica Limited, with their Pokémon GO-style augmented reality system that uses holographs and geospatial datasets to visualise the physical environment and navigate the terrain of Antarctica.

  • Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Waikato

Kiwi Orbitals, with their concept of a completely reusable, recoverable, aerospike powered suborbital rocket – designed to carry 4kg to 40km altitude.

  • Dunedin, Southland and Otago

Deep Space Labs, who have developed new multi-spectral data analysis techniques, powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence that will allow for safe, quick, and inexpensive science to be conducted across Antarctica and throughout the solar system.

  • Wellington, Palmerston North, Wanganui and Taranaki

UTIG Cryo Group, who have based their solution on a proven autonomous airborne radar system, analysis techniques developed for the reconnaissance of the icy moon Europa, and Antarctic demonstrated drone technology.

  • The NZ Space Challenge was open to anyone residing in New Zealand, or New Zealand citizens living abroad.John Ahearn winning the NZ Space Challenge 2018


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