How Can I Rise to the Top?

Space Apps offers local and global awards. Solutions with intriguing and innovative insights and compelling storytelling rise to the top in the judging process. Global award winners receive an invitation to NASA to attend a rocket launch, as well as bragging rights among their peers and community.

Don't forget! To be eligible for global awards, you should:

  • Include a link to code in a public repository on your project page (if applicable)
  • Submit a 30-second video about your project using effective storytelling techniques
  • Keep any code developed during the event open-source. We <3 open data!

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, your solution may compete in three different levels of awards across six categories:


Your Host may offer local awards. Check out your Location page for details!


These solutions are the boldest of the bunch. You can gaze at our former solution stars to prepare!

People's Choice

The best solutions as voted on by Earthlings. Innovators use their hashtags early, be on the lookout!

Best Use Of Data
The solution that best makes space data accessible, or leverages it to a unique application
Best Use Of Hardware
The solution that exemplifies the most innovative use of hardware.
Best Mission Concept
The solution with the most plausible solution concept and design.
Galactic Impact
The solution with the most potential to improve life on Earth or in the universe.
Most Inspirational
The solution that captures our hearts.
The solution voted for the most by Earthlings on social media.

What is the Global Judging Process?

The brightest ideas across the Space Apps' universe receive global recognition. Teams behind these solutions will be eligible to attend a NASA launch event!* Each community Host will nominate global finalists from their location. Challenge owners and NASA experts will then review these nominations to select the top 25 projects. NASA executives will choose the global winners based on information from your project page. So, don't forget to keep it updated with your project description, video, and open source code. All the global winners will be featured here as well as the open.NASA site.

*Winner(s) and one guest will be responsible for their personal travel and accommodation expenses. NASA will supply transportation to and from the launch site.

What is the Global People’s Choice Judging Process?

Global citizens, like you, determine this global award with your votes. NASA selects the top finalists, and you do the rest. Voting will be open for two weeks on our site, and you can watch the votes multiply in real time. The People's Choice winner will be featured on the Space Apps website, as well as

What is the Local Judging Process?

Local Hosts often recognize innovative projects with location-specific awards, in addition to global award nominations. If you’re participating virtually at the Planet Earth location, NASA will review your project to select finalists to move forward for global judging. Learn more about local judging by visiting your Location page. 

No local awards at your hackathon? That's okay, you'll still have the chance to be nominated for global judging! 

Innovation Space

Your big ideas and innovative solutions inspire us! Projects like these may not receive an award, but deserve recognition. The open.NASA Innovation Space offers NASA experts an opportunity to showcase innovations of interest created from Space Apps challenges, alongside all local and global Space Apps award winners.

Seeking inspiration for your solution? Explore past projects on the Innovation Space!