The first Space Apps in 2012 was attended by approximately 2,000 people at 25 events in 17 countries. Since then, the program has grown rapidly in numbers, breadth, and depth.
These statistics reached new heights in 2020, during the pandemic, with the addition of the Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge event to the yearly Space Apps hackathon, culminating in a grand total of over 40,000 participants engaged and 250+ “local virtual” events run by Local Leads in 87 countries!
In the early years, Space Apps was primarily focused on space science and technology. However, in 2017, Space Apps moved to the NASA Earth Science Division and expanded to include both Earth and space science and tech. Today, Space Apps features arts and humanities challenges alongside the technology challenges, building a more inclusive program with broader appeal, the highest participation numbers ever, and a marked increase in projects submitted with technology and art themes.
The Space Apps Challenge attributes much of its growth and success to its Local Leads. The event wouldn’t be possible without them! Local Leads organize in-person or virtual locally-focused events for a specific city/town or group, working to increase local awareness and engagement in the Space Apps Challenge. Local Leads create incredible outcomes in their communities. You can read more about the impact of Local Leads in our blog.