NASA launches global hackathon challenge – #spaceapps

NASA is inviting all citizens of planet Earth to take part in a two-day coding marathon in April (Yep, no matter where you live, YOU are included).

Called the International Space Apps Challenge, the idea is to develop software for various purposes to support NASA’s mission.

The challenge will take place in several cities on all continents around the globe. The list includes the International Space Station, McMurdo station in the Antarctic, Oxford, and many others including … (don’t get too excited now) … Exeter in Devon. If you are wondering about that last one, it’s the home of the UK’s Met office. There is a “Register for this Event” on the Exeter and Oxford pages, but not on the Space Station page (Darn).

Challenges being put forth include developing hand-held hardware for upcoming space missions, determining the size of the Earth itself, access to a variety of NASA datasets and observations, and design of a consistent open data API for NASA. (If anybody out there has some trans-warp technology burning a hole in your back pocket, well your time has come).

OK, I’m being a wee bit cheeky with my side comments, but do not let that put you off, it is a real challenge and a very interesting global outreach that will leverage the power of the connectivity we now have with the Internet to crowdsource new ideas. I have no idea what will come out of this, but by harnessing smart curious and inspired humans on a global scale will indeed yield some truly fascinating stuff – now that is what makes this truly cool.

Will this only be for Organizations? Heck no, it really does mean “You”. Anyone can participate in the International Space Apps Challenge. It requires individuals with a broad range of skills. We are looking for engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs – anyone who has a passion for changing the world and is willing to contribute.

When? It’s a 2 day event: 21-22 April (And yes, that’s a weekend, so no excuses).

What? It will be a “codeathon-style” event that will aim to create outside-the-box solutions in response to interesting problems

Why? This is a unique opportunity for you to develop technology to reach the human race and make the world a better place.

How? Register Here.

We are excited to convene the International Space Apps Challenge as one of the U.S. commitments to the Open Government Partnership to explore new ways that open space data can help the planet and further space exploration,” – Deborah Diaz, deputy chief information officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


  • NASA Press Release here.
  • NASA International Space Apps Challenge, UK MetOffice
  • NASA Launches International Competition to Develop Space Apps, WSJ, Market Watch

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