Jun 06, 2021

SSTL: International Space Challenge 2021/22

  • Emily Tan Yi Lyn
  • Remote (Worldwide)
Competition Research Opportunity Skill Building


The International Space Challenge (ISC) is one of the few platforms that connects young minds across the globe with industry experts, to nurture interest in space technology and its applications. It taps into the creativity of young minds to find new solutions and create a pathway for future commercialisation of these ideas. 

Started in 2007 as the Singapore Space Challenge (SSC), it was a national space design competition to challenge student teams to leverage space technology. Since then, it has become a landmark platform with global reach. The SSC rebranded as the International Space Challenge (ISC) in 2021 with the aim of increasing diversity and to generate more accreditation from global organisations. Over 2000 youths have come through the doors of the challenge, drawing interest from over 18 countries around the world. 

Held annually, the challenge calls for youths to work in teams to solve problems developed closely with the industry, derive theoretical models, design prototypes, and create simulations of their creative solutions. During the challenge, they hear from industry and subject matter experts, receive mentorship and gain access to technical tools to help them complete their proposal. Final entries are reviewed and judged by esteemed technical leaders from around the world. To date, youths have created solutions for ‘Designing a Lunar Rover’, ‘Solution for Space Debris’, ‘Design a satellite system for disaster mapping’ just to name a few. 

Whilst everyone is familiar and has experienced the challenges pertaining to the weather on Earth, there is also weather in space. Space weather can be as or even more fickle than “Earth weather”. Similar to weather on earth, the sun is also responsible for changes in space weather.

Coronal mass ejections from the sun cause immense magnetic storms which alter the space weather surrounding the Earth. The changes in space weather that occur in the near-earth environment can cause adverse effects to both space and ground based technological equipment.

Examples of Effects Caused by Space Weather

  • Aurora Borealis
  • Disruption in telecommunication
  • Loss of GPS
  • Surges in electrical grids
  • Radiation exposure to astronauts
  • Damage to spacecraft

This year ISC will be split into 2 categories – Starter and Open. The Starter’s category will be from ages 13 to 18, while the Open category will comprise of the 15 to 25 age group. This will allow for participants with all skill levels and knowledge to take part in ISC. We hope to spread awareness amongst the youth about how diverse the space sector can be and inspire them to learn more about the space and related industries through these changes.

Challenge Statements:

Design an experiment to be conducted on board the ISS that uses changes in space weather as the independent variable.

Design a satellite mission to gather key data so as to observe the changes, their causes and patterns in the Van Allen Belts.

Type of Opportunity

Extracurricular Activity

Application Deadline

6 August 2021

Age Range


Minimum Technical Skill Needed

Participating teams must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Four participants per team
  • Team members must have a valid email address

If you have yet to form a team of four members, you can submit your initial registration with the details of minimum one team member.


  • Participants to be between 13 – 18 years old as of 31 Dec 2021


  • Participants to be between 15 – 25 years old as of 31 Dec 2021

Application Process Includes

Key Dates

  • 06 August 2021: Registration Closes
  • 17 December 2021: Deliverables Submission Deadline

Competition Deliverables


1. Mission Report

  • The mission report has to contain the following:
    1. Background information on the experiment including the reasons for choosing the topic
    2. Hypothesis statement and explanation
    3. Variables
      • Independent Variable
      • Dependent Variable
      • Extraneous Variables
      • Controlled Variables
    4. Experiment Procedure
    5. Experiment Duration
    6. Predicted Results
    7. Predicted Challenges
    8. Summary
    9. References

      The above stated are the minimum requirements; teams may choose to include more deliverables as they see fit.
      Recommended 10 to 15 Pages max, in Times New Roman, Size 12, Single spaced.

2. Graphic Presentation & Scientific Poster

  • Teams are required to include a 2D graphic presentation, soft copy, that includes the design of the experiment and apparatus used as part of a scientific poster (A1 size).

3. Video Presentation

  • For the judges to better assess the concept, students must submit a video recording (not exceeding 15 minutes) of themselves presenting their report and explaining their project to the judges.

Contrary to common belief, experiments on board the ISS span a variety of scientific fields. Your experiment may be in the field of medicine, biomedical engineering, pharmaceuticals, material sciences, environmental engineering, etc. Please do note that you are not required to confine to the prior mentioned fields and are encouraged to do your project in a line of study that you are interested in and passionate about.


1. Mission Report

  • Including but not limited to the scope of the mission, satellite design, instrumentation, data to be collected and re-entry procedures or otherwise, to prevent further space debris.
  • The mission report must be in Times New Roman, size 12, single spaced and between 30 to 50 pages.

2. A Scaled Model or Graphic Model of the Satellite

  • The graphic representation may be a 2D or 3D soft or hard copy.

3. Video Presentation

  • For the judges to better assess the concept, students must submit a video recording (not exceeding 20 minutes) of themselves presenting their report and explaining their project to the judges.

4. A Graphic Simulation of the Mission (Optional)