Selfie-satellites, the great British space race and planes with a view

15 April: Over 100 developers descended on Inmarsat’s City Road HQ for Space Apps London, NASA’s 48-hour hackathon, on 11-12 April.


The annual International Space Apps Challenge took place in 135 worldwide locations, and saw 12,572 participants come up with 928 projects, meeting the challenge to create innovative open source solutions that address global needs on Earth and in space.

Fourteen teams of developers were breathing, eating and sleeping coding at our Conference Centre throughout the weekend, many working non-stop through the night.

Winning projects

Rod Burns, Inmarsat to Developer Program Community Manager helped organise the event and was on the judging panel choosing three winners to go forward to the global final.

Projects were judged on a number of factors including impact, creativity, how it fits the needs of the challenge, sustainability beyond the event, and presentation of ideas. The winning projects were:

  • SS-Cornelius – the first purpose built selfie-satellite for rockets and deep space probes. A hardware and software prototype for a CubeSat (very small satellite) that piggybacks on a host space probe, undocking to catch and transmit key mission moments of the probe and its surroundings, before redocking until the next milestone. You need never miss that perfect picture again.
  • The Great British Space Race – providing an opportunity to earn astronaut wings and mission patches without ever leaving the planet. An app and website that uses British astronaut Tim Peake’s inaugural mission to the International Space Station to encourage people on Earth to keep fit by joining him on his vigorous exercise regime.
  • Come fly with me experience the same views that friends and loved ones do when up in the air enjoying their flight. Combining Google Maps with near real-time flight path data and cloud coverage provides an authentic view from any requested flight.

Each winner will now have an amazing opportunity to visit Inmarsat’s Network Operations Centre and Satellite Control Centre at its London office, as well as the chance to attend a NASA launch event if they win the global award. 

Check out our Facebook page for more pictures from the event.