Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) Challenge

Complete a 9 step STEM design sprint based on challenges facing NASA’s Artemis and the Australian space industry. AVA teams will choose from a set of six scenarios and design a solution presented in the form of either a 90-second video pitch or poster. A number of teams will then be selected to pitch their ideas at the Young Space Explorers event in December in Sydney!


  • Earth Observation: Milo Institute – ASU
  • Robotics: AROSE Lunar Rover Challenge
  • Home on the Moon: Aldrin Family Foundation
  • Growing Food in Space: Magnitude.io
  • AI in Space
  • Telecommunications in Space


AROSE Lunar Rover Challenge
Closing date for the two submissions:
Semester 1- Friday 28 June 2024 at 11:59pm AEDT;
Semester 2 – September 23 at 11:59pm AEDT

Download the mission brief

All other scenarios
Submission date: September 23 at 11:59pm AEDT
Pitch Date – November date TBC

Planned Webinars

Throughout the year are special webinars with space industry experts.
Registration is free and proudly supported by AWS in Communities.

Dates for webinars (12pm Sydney time):

  • Feb 26 – Launch
  • Apr 4 – Leadership in Space
  • Apr 11 – Robotics
  • May 9 – Earth Observation
  • May 16 – Growing Food in Space
  • May 23 – Home on the Moon
  • May 30 – AI in Space
  • June 6 – Telecommunications in Space
  • June 13 – Space Tech
  • June 20 – What is an internship like at NASA JPL through the Milo Mission Academy?
  • Sept 3 – FAQs for submissions

Register now

Key Information to Teachers on Delivery
This program has been designed to be delivered flexibly. Therefore teachers can use as much or as little of the materials as they wish. It could be finished in a couple of lessons or over a number of weeks. FAQs

Register your class
Be quick to register and secure your young astronauts’ place in this exciting challenge. Teachers register to get your unique webinar link.


9 Missions, run at your own pace

The AVA schedule includes several 45 minute live streamed webinars (also recorded), with mission content on the AVA website to support teachers to deliver the program. A number of special events will also be made exclusively available to participants. There will also be a celebration event known as the Young Space Explorers held in Sydney Australia.

Who is the challenge for?

The challenge is ideal for students in Years 5 – 10 and specifically suited to students studying iSTEM, Science, Mandatory Technology, or primary science and technology classes. There are different entry levels for the challenge:

Stage 3 – Years 5 and 6
Stage 4 – Years 7 and 8
Stage 5 – Years 9 and 10 (Eligible for Phase 2)