Space during COVID-19

2 April 2020

The world feels like a rather different place at the moment with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It has virtually paralysed day-to-day activities. Many of us are in lockdown, forced to work from home while this highly infectious virus dissipates. It may take some time for the world to get back to normal. As such, a number of events have either been postponed, cancelled or brought online.

Here we take a look at various space and tech-related livestreams, virtual conferences, webinars, virtual networking, challenges, online hackathons, massive open online courses (moocs), online science demos, Q&A’s and resources that are now occupying our time.

Note we are continuing to update our calendar best we can and are adding these to a long Twitter thread here.



#SpaceConnectsUs online event

Also check out this Forbes article or this NY Times opinion piece by retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on how astronauts cope with isolation on missions.


Virgin Galactic are hosting a YouTube LIVE on human space flight for those who are currently off school! Join its Chief Astronaut Instructor, Beth Moses this Thursday. Beth was the 571st human to look down on Earth from space. 9.30amPT | 12.30pmET | 5.30pmBST!


#SPACEISAWESOME online conference by AAC Clydespace

Each day this week, AAC Clyde Space is hosting its first digital conference. Join here.

New Approaches to Space Architecture

Initially being a part of SXSW which is canceled in the wake of the current COVID-19 outbreak, this one-of-a-kind panel goes virtual! Join a diverse guest panel of space architects, designers, researchers, and makers all brought together by our universal appreciation of the cosmos. Also, panelists will address their reflections on the current #COVID-19 outbreak situation and provide tips on how to thrive while isolated. Join here.

Space Café Webtalk

Our friends over at SpaceWatch Global are hosting a weekly Space Café WebTalk. Check out the next events here.

Threats, Challenges, and Opportunities in Space

This live streaming event will explore the threats and challenges facing the United States and others in the space domain. Dr. Chris Ford, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, will deliver a keynote address and take questions from the online audience on the U.S. administration’s approach to meeting the evolving challenges to U.S. interests in outer space. The keynote will be followed by a presentation and panel discussion featuring Brian Weeden and Victoria Samson of the Secure World Foundation and Todd Harrison, Kaitlyn Johnson, Thomas G. Roberts, and Makena Young of CSIS. The SWF and CSIS teams will brief their latest analysis on threats to space systems, highlighting developments in counterspace weapons and activities over the past year. Register here.



Satuccino is a monthly networking event for Satellite Applications Catapult-engaged individuals or organisations who use satellite technology or data. This month and next month are now hosted online by the organisation. Join the May Satuccino event here.


Each day throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our Editor-in-Chief, Ryan Laird is hosting a #spacehour chat on Twitter.

“Space Hour” is a fixed time of day where a community of space enthusiasts can share their “space story”. Each day at 12pm GMT/1pm CET people are encouraged to tweet their topic with the hashtag #SpaceHour.On Wednesday 8 April, he is hosting a Google Hangout session as an opportunity to meet “face-to-face” and share our interests during this time of lockdowns around the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Participants are still encouraged to tweet during the call. Register here.

virtual space bar

The AstroAgency invite you to our virtual ‘Space Bar’ to discuss all things space and help keep us all sane! On THURSDAYS @ 7PM (GMT+1), wherever you are, if you are stuck at home and bored, pour yourself a whisky, beer, or cup of tea. It’s a chance to do some virtual networking and we will keep it going until this thing all blows over!



#PointIoT gives ambitious entrepreneurs that chance with a new and exciting programme featuring IoT and Galileo technologies. 10 teams will be selected to attend a 2-day, Paris-based bootcamp and take part in a 3-month virtual sprint with one-on-one mentoring and a chance to win a €20k prize. Ready to tackle industry challenges? Check out the eligibility requirements and apply today!


The Copernicus Masters 2020 – Europe’s leading innovation competition for EO – is in search of outstanding applications, solutions, and services from future-oriented SMEs, startups, universities and individuals in the fields of business, research, and higher education that tackle important challenges faced by business and society. Read more here and sign up now!

The Conrad Challenge

The Conrad Challenge is an annual, multi-phase innovation and entrepreneurship competition that encourages young adults to participate in designing the future. Each year, teams of 2-5 students, ages 13-18, from around the world create products and/or services to address some of the most pressing global and local challenges. They become entrepreneurial problem-solvers, addressing challenging social, scientific and societal issues through utilising their creativity and critical-thinking skills. Apply now!


FDL will host 2020 Challenge Overview Sessions sharing insights on this year’s challenges. Join our experts and learn more about how FDL research teams will tackle critical issues facing space science and humankind. For more information visit:

Sentinel Hub Custom Script Contest – COVID-19 edition

ESA , in coordination with the European Commission is launching a special edition of Custom Script Contest, focused on the support of space during the COVID-19 crisis. Following a similar format, but rather than looking for new algorithms, we are in the quest for ideas on how satellite data could help mitigate the situation, at this moment as well as in the upcoming months, when the world will try to get back to business as usual. We are calling for remote sensing experts, machine learning scientists as well as the interested public. Anyone can contribute an idea and make proposals. Apply here.


Startup Weekend COVID-19 Remote Edition

Techstars are running a special edition Startup Weekend COVID-19 Remote Edition which will take place online over 54 hours.

Space in response to COVID-19 outbreak

ESA has launched an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) inviting companies to submit their ideas for deploying and demonstrating services to respond to the emergency that Europe, and especially Italy, is facing because of the spread of the coronavirus. The AO is issued in cooperation with the Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitalization (MID).

Submit an innovative proposal for characterising Covid-19 impacts

ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “COVID-19 is putting society under huge strain. While ESA isn’t really placed to help forecast the progression of the virus, we certainly continue to have a wealth of data streaming back to us from some of the most sophisticated satellites ever built as well as new artificial intelligence technologies that can be used to understand and monitor some of the societal shifts.

“Innovation is key to using satellite data to help serve society during these challenging times and we trust that our new call will return some valuable proposals.”

This new call has been added to the Permanently Open Call, which is part of ESA’s Earth Observation Science for Society programme.

Massive Open Online Courses

Copernicus MOOC

In its fourth week, the Copernicus MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is an online training aimed at enabling anyone to understand how to use Earth Observation data in order to address societal challenges and generate business opportunities.

Achieving Sustainable Development

Explore the challenges of sustainable development. See the impact of UN Sustainable Development Goals on real people. Join course for free.


A number of science centres and organisations are providing online science demos, Q&A’s and resources. Follow: #ScienceFromHome, #HomeLearningUK


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the UK, each week is covering a different #bigscience topic (like Lasers or Telescopes) and you can expect to see: Activity guides, quizzes, videos + more!


Similarly, the Glasgow Science Centre each day at 10am (UK time) is performing online science demonstrations.


Every weekday the team at the National Space Centre (UK) will be answering any space questions you may have.

Space podcasts

Last month we wrote our top 10 out-of-this world space podcasts. Check out the article here.