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Inaugural NZ Space Challenge takes flight from Christchurch

Inaugural NZ Space Challenge takes flight from Christchurch

1 February 2018

Hot on the heels of New Zealand becoming the eleventh country in the world to have space launch capabilities, today sees the launch of the inaugural NZ Space Challenge.

The 2018 NZ Space Challenge focuses on seeking innovative data and technological space solutions to solve today’s problems in Antarctica, which can then be used for space missions or other extreme conditions in the future.

Antarctica has an extreme environment like space.

ChristchurchNZ strategy and performance manager Anna Elphick sees the Challenge as a real opportunity to emphasise New Zealand’s extreme environment expertise and capability.

“Christchurch, as an official gateway city for Antarctica research and operations, has long been a pioneer of research for extreme conditions and is taking a lead on this national challenge – which is open to all New Zealand residents and citizens living abroad.”

Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Peter Beggs says the challenge is an exciting opportunity to solve logistical and communication challenges in Antarctica today, which could solve the problems of tomorrow in other extreme environments.

“As our science grows more complex and ambitious, we face challenges for traverse and navigation. Using innovative technology to find solutions will be instrumental in furthering our ability to support and carry out scientific research.”

The timing is perfect for New Zealand to capitalise on our expertise working in extreme conditions as the world looks to the democratization of space, says SpaceBase co-founder Emeline Paat- Dahlstrom.

“Space is no longer the domain of governments; as an entrepreneurial country New Zealand is positioned well to lead training, networking and develop technical services as the world looks to co-create a global space eco-system.”

The NZ Space Challenge is the brain child of space enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, Eric Dahlstrom and Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom who have forged international careers in the space community and have chosen to settle in New Zealand, establishing SpaceBase with fellow co-founder Rich Bodo.

SpaceBase has partnered with ChristchurchNZ, the city’s economic development agency to deliver this national challenge.

The NZ Space Challenge runs from 1 February to 30 April 2018 and the national winner will be announced during Techweek at the ChristchurchNZ Extreme Environments – from Antarctica to Space event on 24 May 2018.


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