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Welcome to the Space Apps Huntsville Press Spaceport!

New Leaf Digital and the Greater Huntsville AIAA Section are proud to host Huntsville’s Inaugural Space Apps Challenge, a 32-hour “Earth Observation” themed hardware + software design competition on April 29 and 30 at Huntsville STEAM Works, a brand new 6,000+ sq/ft hardware prototyping.

This is NASA’s sixth year hosting this global competition, in which 140+ cities worldwide participate. We are proud to add Huntsville to the roster this year and will be tackling five official NASA categories with around 25 challenges and also eight community challenges. Please contact us to add a community challenge.

All passionate problem solvers of any skill level in innovation, creation, business, storytelling, engineering, art, design and/or development are welcome to join this community of innovators in one of three divisions: high school, collegiate, or open.

Teams are comprised of three to five members and often consist of individuals who hold or assume roles of: coder, designer, project manager, writer and engineer.  

Participants may come as a part of a team or will be matched to one upon arrival. $10,000 total will be awarded at this open source competition!


In The News

Press Kit

There are five categories for 2017’s NASA Space Apps Challenge:

  1. Ideate and Create! 

  2. Our Ecological Neighborhood

  3. Warning! Danger Ahead!

  4. Planetary Blues

  5. The Earth and Us


There are seven community challenges so far. Please contact us to add one:

  1. Earth Sensing for Situation Awareness

  2. Mechanical Tracking System for Tracking a Low Earth Orbit Satellite

  3. Virtual and Augmented Reality Worlds for Earth Science Missions

  4. Augmented Reality Props for Interactive Simulation of Equipment

  5. Non-pyrotechnic Separation and Deployment Mechanisms

  6. Create Website to Browse the NASA Image and Video Library Collection

  7. Create a Podcast from the NASA Image and Video Library Collection

  8. Magnetic Shield


There are three team divisions with different prizes:

  1. High School – awards total $3,000

  2. Collegiate – awards total $5,000

  3. Open – awards total $2,000 plus submission to NASA’s global competition


Additional Prizes:

  1. A private one hour flight for two over Huntsville courtesy of Crossflow Technologies

  2. A tour for five of Phil Sumrall’s hangar and airplanes

  3. A tour of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

  4. Lunch with MSFC Center Chief Technology and present design/work to MSFC Center Chief Technologist, Engineering Directorate Managers, or Challenge Owner

  5. A tour of NASA's Stennis Space Center (Mississippi) to see an engine firing and a tour of NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans (trip at challenge winner's own expense)


Facilitation Lead:

New Leaf Digital


Facilitation Partner:

Greater Huntsville AIAA Section


Venue Partner:

Huntsville STEAM Works



  • Monsi Roman, NASA Centennial Challenges Program Manager

  • Tim Pickens, Pickens Innovations Founder

  • Mark Spencer, Founder of Digium and Avilution

  • Andrew Keys, Marshall Space Flight Center Chief Technologist

  • Harold Brewer, President, Intuitive Research

  • David Burns, Manager of the Science and Technology Office, NASA (Friday Kickoff Party)

  • Eric Anderson, Co-Lead of SERVIR-Mekong Regional Science Coordination and Lead for Water Related Disaster Thematic Service Area (Friday Kickoff Party)

  • Harold Brewer, President, Intuitive Research



  • Antonio Montoya, Founder of Rocket Hatch and Executive Director of HuntsvilleWest

  • Rob Birchmeier, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Identity, Credentials, and Access Management (ICAM) Lead

  • Jason Pullias, SAIC Senior Mobile Application Developer

  • Tim Pickens, Founder of Pickens Innovations

  • Mark Spencer, Founder of Digium and Avilution

  • Tony Linderman, Senior Systems Engineer, Jacobs ESSSA

  • Annette Fisher, Aerospace Engineer, Department of Defense

  • Brock Cabot, Electrical Engineer, Department of Defense

  • Dave Fisher, Electrical Engineer, AMRDEC

  • Dr. William Marx, Deputy Director of Engineering, Intuitive Research

  • Mike Murdock, Founder of Huntsville STEAM Works

  • Dr. Charlotte Hughes, Proposal Manager and Business Development Analyst, Qualis Corporation

  • Angela Shelby, Program Analyst III (ARCS), NASA Agency Applications Office

  • Gregory Hanis, Founder, HACKBAMA



  • HuntsvilleWest

  • National Space Club of Huntsville

  • Rocket Hatch

  • Zero Point Frontiers

  • HackBama


Organizing Team:

  • Tracie Prater, AIAA Deputy Director of Young Professionals for the Southeast Region

  • Sam Ortega, Partnerships Office Manager, NASA

  • Chris Beaman, New Leaf Digital Founder

  • Brandon Stiltner, Senior Systems Analysis Engineer, Qualis Corporation  

  • Mark Becnel, Founder and CEO of Radiobro

  • Keithe Eaton, Aerospace Engineer, Zero Point Frontiers

  • Ethan Chew, Special Projects Developer, EXOS Aerospace

  • Bond Wells, Aerospace Consultant, Fancy Rockets

  • David Reynolds, Equipment Specialist, NASA

  • Mike Murdock, Founder of Huntsville STEAM Works

  • Daniel O’Neill, Technology Manager, NASA

  • Matt Brooks, Program Director, 4 Hours to Product, New Leaf Digital

  • Danielle Hart, PR/Marketing Specialist, New Leaf Digital

  • Sachin Katyal, Randolph School Student, HackHSV Founder

  • Tyler Williams, Randolph School Student, HackHSV Co-Organizer

  • Jacob Chancery, Aerospace Engineer, Aerodyne, Inc.

  • Mark Reiter, UAH Student, New Leaf Digital




For logos, bios and images or to become a sponsor please contact Danielle Hart: