Success for student entrepreneur in national space challenge competition

A Leicester student is among only nine young space entrepreneurs to have won a share of £50K for innovative ideas on how to use satellite data to improve life on Earth.

Razzia Gafur, a third-year Physics and Astronomy student, won a prize of £5K in the UK Space Agency’s SatelLife Challenge for her project, Imaging in Space (IISpace), which hopes to launch cheap cubesats to deliver a suite of information to make satellite data very cost effective and with a very quick turn-around of information, meeting customer needs directly. The project is particularly interested in getting into the gaming market, and using satellite data to support virtual reality activities.

The aim of the competition is to come up with ideas on how to use satellite data to improve life on Earth. The Challenge sought to link satellite and space data and its application to everyday life. The winners from each category had to pitch their idea to a panel of ‘dragons’ from the space sector who also offered prizes, which could include mentoring, work experience and even the development of the idea into reality.

Speaking of her time studying at Leicester, Razzia added: “I’m from Newcastle upon Tyne and moved 200 miles down the country to pursue a degree in Physics with Astrophysics. I chose to study at the University of Leicester because of the warmth and community feel of the Physics department - the support and encouragement the staff give their students is second to none."

The best entries will also be invited to present their idea at the UK Space Conference – the most influential event for space in the UK – held in Manchester from 30 May to 1 June, 2017.