Space Apps Challenge at UWA uses NASA's open source space data to solve real world problems

Using NASA data to solve real world problems.


Making inventive solutions to real-world challenges using NASA data from space? Count us in!

The ISC, in collaboration with Space Hub Perth, UWA Venture and silver sponsor AROSE, will be hosting the local version of NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, encouraging collaborative approach to problem solving where teams aim to produce solutions to NASA defined challenges that we currently face here on Earth and in space.

Who Can Participate?

Absolutely anyone! Space is for everyone. If you have a background or are just interested in business, entrepreneurship, science, art, history, engineering, design, law, technology, mathematics, education, health, sports, performing arts, hospitality, automotive mechanics or many other areas, then you’re perfect for this hackathon. And no, you don’t have to know how to code, although you can if you want to.


Team Size

Team size should be a maximum of 6 people. You can form your own team or we can help you find one.

Under 18 years old?

Not a problem. We want to you register for the challenge and amaze us with your ideas. However, we do recommend that you do so with a parent or legal guardian (i.e. they should also register).


We’ll have mentors available over the weekend to help you select your challenge, determine your problem, guide you with your thinking about your solution and help you present your project. Mentors will come from industry (space & other), academia and government. Their skill sets, knowledge based and industry experience cover a broad range of areas including science, space, entrepreneurship, marketing, problem analysis, design, communications and outreach, photography, social services, health, resources and many more. Space really is for everyone.


We’ll have a bunch of prizes for winning teams in Perth, with the top team also advancing to the Global Nomination Round where NASA will select global finalists. We’ll update the details of the prizes soon, so check back here regularly.

More information

Check out the official page and sign up at NASA Space Apps Challenge Perth.

Astronaut Edward White problem solving in first EVA performed during Gemini 4 flight. Image Credit: NASA.

Space Boot Camp September '22

The International Space Centre (ISC) is holding a 3-day Space Boot Camp from 27 to 29 September 2022.

This a great opportunity for Years 9 and 10 students to meet space experts who have worked with NASA and UWA researchers driving WA’s space frontiers. This Space Boot Camp is designed to provide a range of inspirational and interactive sessions that also help students understand their future education and career options.

At the Space Boot Camp, we cover a broad range of topics from space plant biology, law, rocketry and propulsion, and even designing lunar habitats. The students will be involved in a number of interactive sessions including building and launching their own rockets with the UWA Aerospace Club. They will also learn about human physiology in space, growing plants to support long-term missions, space debris (and whose problem it is), space robotics and space career options in WA. Look out for the new and exciting sessions that we have included in the third day!

The Space Boot Camp will be held on UWA campus in Nedlands for the first two days and on the third day the students will be participating in interactive sessions and site tours with industry partners in Perth city. Relevant details, permission slips and further details will be confirmed after registration and payment.

Our last Space Boot Camp was extremely popular and sold out fast – so don’t miss out! In the meantime, if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Registration can be made at

12 August 2022In Centre News

Phantom Galaxy revealed through radioactive space dust

Thanks to Dr Brent Groves from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the International Space Centre, who has demystified the Phantom Galaxy images in the mid-infrared range from recent James Webb Space Telescope data.

Which part of this beautiful galaxy would kill us if it were near Earth? 😳

Australia's 'Space Boss' awarded UWA honorary doctorate

The ISC congratulates the Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo for the confernment of his honorary doctorate at The University of Western Australia in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in space innovation.

Australian Space Agency head Enrico Palermo has been awarded a doctorate by The University of Western Australia in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in space innovation.

Dr Palermo has had a stellar career, helping develop commercial spaceships, since graduating from UWA with a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science in 2002.

He was chief operating officer at Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and president of the Spaceship Company before moving back to Australia last year to head the Australian Space Agency.

Dr Palermo, whose honorary doctorate was conferred at a graduation ceremony in Winthrop Hall, said work in space was helping to tackle global challenges.

“The reason we know the condition of our planet in many ways is because we observe space from Earth,” Dr Palermo said.

“Many of the variables, many of the elements in climate modelling rely on space data so by having an effective space industry here in Australia it is really going to enable  us to deal with the challenges of climate change but also make us more resilient to natural disasters which unfortunately are occurring at a faster frequency.”

The father-of-two, whose own interest in science was encouraged by his grandfather, said space was also a source of inspiration.

“Space is the spark of light that often gets people into science, technology, engineering and maths fields so we have an enormous responsibility to bring space to the nation,” he said.

“My Nonno taught me how things work in the world and in many respects was the person who got me on the journey of loving science and engineering.

Pru Steinerts, from UWA’s International Space Centre, said she was delighted Dr Palermo had been awarded such an honour.

“Dr Palermo continues to be a huge inspiration to UWA’s students and his journey demonstrates what is possible not only in space but as a successful and influential engineer,” Ms Steinerts said.

In an address at the Winthrop Hall ceremony Dr Palermo urged science graduates to ‘never stop learning’ and ‘grab every opportunity’.

“Diverse experiences, positions of discomfort and pushing the boundaries are where you grow the most, innovate the most and learn the most,” Dr Palermo said.

28 July 2022In Centre News

JWST - First Light Images Uncovered!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the deep dive into the JWST First Light images – such an enthusiastic and curious audience! Your questions kept us on our toes, and we loved every second of it.

Thank you to our speakers, Professor Simon Driver, Dr Sabine Bellstedt and Dr Elisabete da Cunha, supported by emcee Pru Steinerts and tech guru Dr Robin Cook.

Much appreciation to our ISC Student Club volunteers who eagerly put their hands up for any job to support the evening and notched up quite a few steps.

And a special mention to Dr David Gozzard for offering to create not one, but two amazing JWST models in record time!

Astronomers celebrate first images from James Webb Space Telescope's mission

On Tuesday night, during the global release of the First Light images, the broadcast team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center will cross to the International Space Centre at UWA. We’re humbled and excited to represent Australia in this historic event.

In a serendipitous note, at the time of the broadcast it will be an Australian tracking station in Tidbinbilla receiving the data from JWST, as part of NASA’s Deep Space Network in Canberra.

Broadcast of the First Light images release begins at 10.30pm AWST – you can live stream from home here: NASA TV Live

UWA speaks to Professor Simon Driver on the First Light Images Release

Live cross to ISC from NASA's Global Press Conference for JWST

The University of Western Australia was proud to represent Australia in the First Light images release by the NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration JWST team. First cab off the rank – Perth!

The International Space Centre was the only NASA-accredited outreach event in Australia, and as such was invited to participate in the global press conference on July 14. Thank you to NASA’s Strategic Partnerships Manager (Science Mission Directorate) Anita Dey for this exciting opportunity to involve our team in such an exciting event.


ESA's Vega-C Rocket supported by New Norcia Tracking Station

The New Norcia tracking station just north of Perth will be an integral part of the launch of European Space Agency – ESA’s new medium-lift Vega-C rocket when it takes off next Wednesday (TBC) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The tracking station in WA is designed for communicating with deep-space missions and provides support to spacecraft such as Mars Express, Rosetta and Gaia for routine operations. The new Vega-C to launch on Wednesday can orbit larger satellites than its predecessor, carry two main payloads or can even accommodate rideshare missions.

The image above shows the 35m-diameter dish antenna of ESA’s deep-space tracking station in New Norcia, illuminated by ground lights against the night sky.

Credit: D. O’Donnell/ESA – CC BY-SA 3.0

James Webb Space Telescope First Light Images

Join the International Space Centre to take a deep dive into the first images to be released from the James Webb Space Telescope!

Among the first images will be ‘the deepest image of our universe that has ever been taken,’ according to NASA administrator Bill Nelson. This means we will be looking at the farthest humans have ever seen before – in both space and time.

Our Astronomy from Space Node Leader Professor Simon Driver secured over a hundred hours on the JWST twenty years ago and he’s here to answer all your questions about this historic telescope, along with Dr Sabine Bellstedt and Dr Elisabete Da Cunha, both working with data from the JWST.

General tickets to this special event are $15. A reserved group of special Gold tickets, with pre-event catering and mingling, are also available for $30.

Book tickets at:


4.30pm (Gold Tickets Only) – VIP Event
5.00pm (General Admission)
       First Images – James Webb Space Telescope // Dr Sabine Bellstedt
       First Light and Cosmic Ignition // Professor Simon Driver
       Peering Through the Dust // Dr Elisabete Da Cunha
       Panel Q&A 

Thursday July 14
University Club Auditorium
5pm Start (General Admission)
Free parking adjacent.
This event is supported by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the University of Western Australia.


New Norcia's First Stone Ceremony with ESA

Did you know WA has one of the European Space Agency’s three dishes in their Deep Space Network? Today, with Australian Space Agency, Ed Husic MP, CSIRO and Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, the ISC congratulates European Space Agency – ESA on laying the first stone on their fourth dish in their DSM in New Norcia – a remarkable location for space communications.