The Space & Innovation Hackathon, coordinated by the Adelaide University Physics Institute and Space Society, was a chance for students of all backgrounds and interests to come together to develop innovative solutions for establishing and running a moon base in the future. Students were tasked to focus their ideas in one of three areas: mechanical systems, community-based solutions, or computer-based systems.

Two of our space team, Shena Howell and Dimitri Mitakidis helped students create one component for the mission, Project Moonbase.

“It was a privilege to participate in the 24-hour Space & Innovation Industry Hackathon,” noted Shena Howell, our Program Lead of Space Systems Engineering.

Students and Mentors at the Space Hackathon

Students and Mentors at the Space Hackathon

The Space & Innovation Hackathon 2021 is a 24-hour competition that challenges tertiary students to solve a unique problem in aerospace and present their solution to a panel of judges, with the chance to win experiential prizes. Shoal Group were honoured to be a sponsor of the Hackathon, celebrating #NationalScienceWeek and mentoring some of Adelaide’s brightest young minds in their passion for space.

Prior to living on Mars, our first objective is to successfully establish a sustainable presence on the Moon. By 2028, NASA plans on launching the Lunar Surface Asset; a small habitat to the surface of the Moon. Through specialisation into one of the three categories, Hackathon participants developed a solution for a problem we may face while living and working on a Moonbase in the near future.

The space experience of the students varied from no exposure to enthusiasts, and it was a privilege to work as a mentor to help students of all interests and experiences with space work through ideas,” said Shena.

Students had just 24 hours to develop a 3-4 minute presentation on what problem they see needs solved for the establishment and operation of a Moon base, what solution they are proposing to that problem, and some idea of next steps including the commercial needs to make it happen.

Systems Engineer, Dimitri Mitakidis noted “The event was well organised and we look forward to seeing what they come up with for next year!”

For students, this event represents an opportunity not only to test their aerospace and science knowledge against the best their cohort has to offer, but also to have access to and mentorship from some of the foremost experts in this growing industry.

Shoal’s graduate and intern programs are existing avenues to grow the future workforce. Mentor opportunities like these engage university students in STEM activities, and provide some exposure to the challenges of working specifically in the space sector.

Find out more about Shoal Careers. Shoal has been supporting Defence and Space sectors since we were founded in 2001.