Winners will receive a £7,500 education grant per person with further funding for second and third places*

LONDON, Oct. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Viasat, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global leader in satellite communications, has launched its 'Viasat Beyond: Space' competition to support the next generation of UK engineers, artists, space lovers, and scientists.

Students in years 12 and 13 (or their equivalent in Scotland) from schools around the UK will work individually or in groups of up to three and submit their creative ideas to support a safe and sustainable UK space sector. During the final stage of the competition, students will be mentored by Viasat staff with a variety of backgrounds and with diverse specialisms to help build both their ideas and speaking skills – before finalists pitch to a panel of expert judges.

The competition is open for students to register from today, during World Space Week 2023. All entrants must complete the registration process and submit their responses to the first assignment in writing between Nov. 6, 2023 and Jan. 7, 2024 by 11:59 p.m. (GMT). A shortlist of 30 individual participants/teams will then compete in a digital round, before the final five pitch their ideas at Viasat's new international headquarters in London in April 2024.

Each of the five finalists will receive a range of prizes, including an opportunity to participate in a Viasat sustainable space experience week, meeting international colleagues working or with experience in STEM. The top three will also be awarded education grants: £7,500 each for first place, £3,570 each for second place, and £1,875 each for third place.

Students will be invited to build their submissions around the theme of developing a safe and sustainable space UK space sector. This means students will be able to pitch policy or research topics, technology ideas with prototypes, or commercial or design solutions that could help protect the space environment.

Viasat is working with education specialists Springpod to develop the competition, with a special focus on promoting entries from students from all backgrounds. The competition comes after Viasat's expansion in the UK following its acquisition of UK-based satellite firm Inmarsat in May 2023. The combined company is now a leader in satellite communications with a global footprint, with its international headquarters set to open in London in 2024.

"Space is a global commons that we all rely on, so it's incredibly important we use that shared resource in an equitable and sustainable way," John Reeves, Managing Director of Global Affairs at Viasat, said. "This competition is about engaging, training, and captivating the next generation of space champions - so they can help the UK lead the way in protecting and growing a sustainable space economy."

"This competition provides an incredible opportunity for students to get hands-on experience and mentorship from industry experts at Viasat," said Sam Hyams, CEO of Springpod. "We are committed to making this an inclusive program that is accessible to all students regardless of background. By tapping into the creativity and passion of these young people, we hope to uncover innovative solutions that will drive a more sustainable and prosperous space industry in the UK and beyond. We encourage all eligible students to apply and look forward to seeing the exciting ideas they bring to the table."

About Viasat
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. With offices in 24 countries around the world, our mission shapes how consumers, businesses, governments, and militaries around the world communicate and connect. Viasat is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, reliable, secure, affordable, fast connections to positively impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air, or at sea, while building a sustainable future in space. On May 30, 2023, Viasat completed its acquisition of Inmarsat, combining the teams, technologies, and resources of the two companies to create a new global communications partner. Learn more at www.viasat.com, the Viasat News Room, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X or YouTube. 

About the competition
Terms and conditions for the competition are available in Springpod's Hub at https://viasat.springpod.com/. However, below is an overview of what the available prizes are based on students' placement following the final pitch to a panel of expert judges (the "Final") and comprise:

First place

  • For each of the students winning first place in the Final, Viasat will pay directly to each winner £7,500 no later than 17 May, 2024. 
  • Viasat Sustainable Space Experience Week will take place 8 July 202411 July 2024 in London and will consist of an experiential learning week at Viasat's headquarters in London, where participants can expect to learn and participate in a range of space-related experiences, get to know engineers who are at the top of their field, and get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's largest space communications companies. All ordinary expenses comprising required transport, lodging, meals, and other programme-related expenses of the winning participant/teams will be fully paid by Viasat. To participate, winners must confirm their participation no later than 24 May 2024. Unlike the finalist event, student participants will not be required to be accompanied by a parent/teacher chaperone.

Second place

  • For each of the students winning second place in the Final, Viasat will pay directly to each winner £3,750 no later than 17 May, 2024.
  • Viasat Sustainable Space Experience Week will take place 8 July 202411 July 2024 in London and will consist of experiential learning week at Viasat's headquarters in London, where participants can expect to learn and participate in a range of space-related experiences, get to know engineers who are at the top of their field, and get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's largest space communications companies. All ordinary expenses comprising required transport, lodging, meals, and other programme-related expenses of the winning participant/teams will be fully paid by Viasat. To participate, winners must confirm their participation no later than 24 May 2024. Unlike the finalist event, student participants will not be required to be accompanied by a parent/teacher chaperone.

Third place

  • For each of the students winning third place in the Final, Viasat will pay directly to each winner £1,875 no later than 17 May, 2024.
  • Viasat Sustainable Space Experience Week will take place 8 July 202411 July 2024 in London and will consist of experiential learning week at Viasat's headquarters in London, where participants can expect to learn and participate in a range of space-related experiences, get to know engineers who are at the top of their field, and get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's largest space communications companies. All ordinary expenses comprising required transport, lodging, meals, and other programme-related expenses of the winning participant/teams will be fully paid by Viasat. To participate, winners must confirm their participation no later than 24 May 2024. Unlike the finalist event, student participants will not be required to be accompanied by a parent/teacher chaperone.

Forward—Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Forward — looking statements include, among others, statements that refer to: Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: date and timelines of Viasat's new international headquarters opening.

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