Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Space for Planet Earth Challenge 2023: Application Kick-off Event

May 18, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Join us during Tech Week 2023 as we kick-off the opening of the application period for proposals to this year’s space challenge. Learn about methane’s impact on climate change, and how to participate in the space Challenge. (University/Startup and High School Level nationwide)

The goal of the Space for Planet Earth Challenge is to use space technologies to find new and innovative solutions to address climate change issues in New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.

The Challenge

Using satellite data, in combination with other data sources, help develop scientific methods to identify target areas of methane emissions on Earth.

Apply and you could win up to NZ$25,000 in cash and mentorship support to further your research. The Challenge is open to individuals and teams living in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands (including the Philippines).

Proposals for a chance to participate in the online research incubator that starts in October 2023 will be open from 18 May – 31 August 2023. Teams in the incubator will submit their final applications for the Challenge by 25 February 2024 for a chance to be short-listed for the finals. Three finalists will be invited to compete for the grand prize awards for each category.

Preliminary Programme

5:00 – 5:30PM   Registration
5:30 – 6:45PM   Info Sessions (Speakers from NZ Space Agency, Auckland Space Institute and more)
6:45 – 7:30PM   Networking Reception
7:30PM            End

Master of Ceremonies:  Rosalie Nelson, Chief Executive, Hillary Institute of International Leadership & Edmund Hillary Fellowship

Invited speakers from Ministry of Environment, NZ Space Agency, Auckland Space Institute and SpaceBase

In this Challenge kick-off event, listen to problem area and space technology experts talk about the challenges in monitoring methane emissions globally today, and how satellite data and analysis could help us understand how to solve this critical climate change problem. Learn about the requirements and process for participating in the competition. A full schedule of the event agenda will be posted shortly.

Space Challenge Background Information

Methane is a strong greenhouse gas, and the monitoring and control of methane emissions is a vital component of efforts to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Strong methane emissions primarily occur from leaks from petrochemical extraction and industrial processing operations. But globally, the challenge is to identify methane emissions from weaker sources such as livestock and agriculture operations, landfills, and natural emissions from sources including wetlands and coastal areas.

Methane monitoring from space currently uses the Sentinel 5P spacecraft (at low spatial resolution) as well as recent results from GHGsat, Sentinel 2, and the EMIT instrument.

These sensors have picked up strong methane emissions, but the next challenge is to identify target locations to detect sources of weaker methane emissions. Target areas are needed in preparation for the launch of MethaneSAT (jointly sponsored by the US Environmental Defence Fund and the New Zealand government).

To fully account for global methane emissions, which areas should be targeted for the different types of sources? Are there other satellite sensors which can be applied to the problem of identifying these target areas, or detecting the weaker methane emissions? Are there specific areas that will offer advantages for calibration?

This challenge invites teams to develop tools to help in the global effort to monitor and control methane emissions, and directly contribute to the fight against climate change.

Categories and Prizes

University/Startup and High School Levels

The Prize

University/Startup Level
Grand Prize: $25,000 NZD plus 6 months SpaceBase mentorship (online)

Finalists: $2,500 NZD

High School Level

Grand Prize: $8,000 NZD

Finalists: $1,000 NZD

Challenge Timeline

Initial Proposal Deadline: 31 August 2023 (Submissions open 18 May 2023)
Online Research Incubator: October 2023 – February 2024 (Dec/Jan Break)
Final Application Deadline: 25 February 2024
Final Pitch and Awards Event: 15 March 2024 (Auckland,TBC)

For more information about the Challenge, go to spacebase.co/challenges


May 18, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


View Organiser Website




Online event
New Zealand + Google Map