Press Release  | 

The world’s largest hackathon arrives in Barcelona and Madrid: The NASA Internacional Space Challenge (Space Apps) is back

  • October 1 and 2 will see 30,000 professionals solve the 23 real challenges posed by NASA scientists and engineers during the Space Apps hackathon.

  • The winning projects could represent Spain internationally and be pitched to NASA experts at the Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral, USA).

  • The event will take place in Barcelona for the first time, at the headquarters of Mobile World Capital Barcelona and with the support of emotionhack, the U.S. Embassy, IENAI Space, GroundInn and Opground, P&G, Nationale Nederlanden, Madri+d Foundation, Telefónica Foundation, MINSC association and Iberia.

Barcelona, September 28., 2022 - How to survive on Mars with three 3D printers, the exploration of Venus or new artificial intelligence purposes are some of the challenges NASA seeks to find creative solutions for.

Within this frame, a new edition of the NASA International Space Challenge (Space Apps) will be held during the first weekend of October, in different countries simultaneously, in order to find creative solutions to real problems posed by the organization’s scientists and engineers. The largest hackathon in the world will bring together more than 30,000 students and technological professionals; the headquarters of Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital), in Barcelona, which hosts the event for the first time, and La Nave, in Madrid, will turn into creation and development hubs for more than 200 participants.

Jordi Arrufí, director of the Digital Talent area of MWCapital, underlines that "holding this event in our facilities is great news, both for the city of Barcelona and for the whole country. This event helps us to continue with our work of helping to connect digital talent with the scientific and entrepreneurial sectors".

Francisco Martínez, CEO & Co-Founder of emotionhack, points out that "society has very little knowledge of the Spanish talent. Spaniards lead scientific projects, in space research and many other areas, which are really unknown. However, everyone knows NASA and her missions to Mars. With this initiative we intend to give visibility to that talent and, in addition, encourage people to participate in solving the challenges humanity faces."

Space Apps, a unique opportunity to solve planetary challenges

NASA launches the 9th edition of Space Apps thus consolidating it as a meeting point for global talent, and a positive environment to generate innovative ideas by encouraging collaboration among its participants. Under the motto 'Make Space', the organization reminds that there is always room for one more idea and that any participant with a creative mindset is welcome to the hackathon.

Oscar Sala, director of MWCapital's Innovation area, highlights that "planetary challenges require joint, agile and effective action. Our role as MWCapital is to contribute to detecting ideas capable of generating a true positive impact on people's lives and connect them with corporations and organizations with the means to develop them. Space Apps is a clear example of this fruitful connection."

The challenges posed by NASA for this edition, together with other space agencies, revolve around the processing of images collected by telescopes such as the James Webb, recently launched into space; fighting climate change; designing of a lunar map; and developing technological support to process raw images from JunoCam, the camera installed in the Juno probe that orbits Jupiter and transmitted the latter’s first detailed images. To solve these challenges, participants will have access to the space agency’s own tools and network.

A panel of specialists in areas related to the challenges will select the winners. The three winning projects from each city will then compete together in an international contest, the winners of which will have the opportunity to travel to the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral (USA), to present their ideas to NASA experts.

For the first time, the organization will award 1,000 € to the best projects in both cities and 500 € to the second and third ranked. On top of that, the winners will receive 2,000 € in divisible bonuses thanks to Iberia’s support of the initiative.

Justen Thomas, Public Diplomacy Attaché for Education and Entrepreneurship at the U.S. Embassy, adds that "one of the goals of the Embassy is to foster innovation and scientific cooperation, and that's what Space Apps does; we encourage everyone to participate by contributing their many talents to NASA’s efforts towards the progress of humanity."

NASA Space Apps Madrid and Barcelona is possible thanks to the support of the U.S. Embassy and other companies and institutions such as IENAI Space, GroundInn and Opground, P&G, Nationale Nederlanden, Madri+d Foundation, Telefónica Foundation, MINSC association and Iberia.

For those wishing to participate, either as an individual or as a team, Space Apps Challenge Madrid has set up two websites, and in Barcelona



Mobile World Capital Barcelona is an initiative driving the digital advancement of society while  helping improve people’s lives globally.

With the support of the public and private sector, MWCapital focuses on four areas: the  acceleration of innovation through digital entrepreneurship, the transformation of industries  through digital technology, the rise of digital talent among new generations and professionals  and the reflection on the impact of technology in our society. Collectively, our programmes  are positively transforming the economy, education and society.

MWCapital hosts MWC in Barcelona and founded 4 Years From Now (4YFN), the startup  business platform, present at MWC events around the world.