Software Students: Go Where No Coder Has Gone Before

Press Release From: European Space Agency
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2015

ESA is seeking student software developers from across Europe to participate in its Summer of Code in Space. Winning applicants will be paid to develop innovative open-source software for space projects.

ESA’s Summer of Code in Space (SOCIS) is an annual programme to give students the chance to work on open-source space-related software during their summer time.

Since SOCIS began in 2011, more than 60 students have been part of the adventure, and if you are a student in any ESA Member State, this year could be your turn.

Each year ESA begins by contacting ‘mentoring organisations’ that are developing free, open-source software for the space sector. Mentors propose ideas for improving their software or even to create completely new software based on existing building blocks.

ESA then selects between 20 and 25 software projects, then opens a call to students all over ESA Member States. Students who are interested in a particular project can send an application to ESA to propose clear, achievable technical objectives that they seek to realise.

ESA puts the winning students together with their mentors, and each student is paid to perform their work.

A first stipend of €1000 is provided at the start of the coding period. If the project is successful after three months of work, the students then receive an additional €3000 grant. The coding period is usually from June to September.

SOCIS aims to raise the awareness of ESA and open-source space projects within the open-source programming community, improve existing space-related open-source software and find new talents for developing space applications in future.

For more information, or to apply to participate, visit the SOCIS webpage or contact


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