Preparations for this year’s International Space Apps challenge are in full swing. Make sure to save the date (12-13 April, 2014). We are super excited!
The website is currently getting a small face lift, it should be up an running in the next few days. Registration will open around early March. Stay tuned for further details.
The results from 2013 International Space Apps Challenge are incredible. More than 9,000 hackers, designers, and explorers in 83 cities and from all corners of the world made this the largest hackathon in history. An unbelievable 770 solutions were submitted, and thousands of people worked together to address challenges and create immeasurable amount of enthusiasm and investment in exploration.
Of those solutions, 134 were nominated for global recognition. Over the past few weeks we have reviewed each and every one of them, a truly inspirational process. A panel of judges consisting of representatives from NASA and other governmental and non-governmental organizations evaluated the top solutions, and today we are announcing the six best in class winners.
Best Use of Data
The award for Best Use of Data goes to the solution that best makes space data accessible or leverages it to a unique purpose or application. Congratulations to Sol: the world’s first interplanetary weather application built on MAAS, the first interplanetary weather data API. Space Apps Kansas City team members include Ryan Schneider, Dustin Walruff, Ben Suh, Jessica Meurer, Jon Smajda, Brian Cody, Doug Niccum, and Mike Wilson.
Honorable Mentions for Best Use of Data:
Space Cal NYC (NYC)
EarthKAM Explorer (Philadelphia)
Big Marble (Cleveland)
Sync (Guatemala City)
Aurora Localization (Toronto)
Best Use of Hardware
The award for Best Use of Hardware goes to the solution that exemplifies the most innovative use of hardware. Congratulations to ISS Base Station: a hardware-software co-design project that both expands the Spot The Station web app and allows for a physical manifestation of its data. Space Apps Philadelphia team members include Dan Giovannelli, TK Rodgers, Daniel Ge, Matt Thomas, Sameer Pandya, David Mally, Ryan Dungee, Ivan Serikov, Alain Hernandez, Andrew Kondrath, Nina Sun, Himavath Jois, Patrick Hammons, and Kai Ninomiya.
Best Mission Concept
The award for Best Mission Concept goes to the solution that developed the most promising mission concept. Congratulations to Popeye on Mars: a deployable, reusable spinach greenhouse for Mars. Space Apps Athens team members include Vangelis Chliaras, Panagiotis Bairamis, Mathos Papamatthaiou, Themistoklis Karafasoulis, Lydia Polyzou, Xaris-Kleiw Koraka, Sotirios Panagiotou, Agisilaos Zisimatos, and Alfredos-Panagiotis Damkalis.
The award for Galactic Impact goes to the solution that has the most potential to significantly improve life on Earth or in the universe. Congratulations to the NASA Greener Cities project: an app developed to complement NASA satellite climate data with crowd-sourced microclimate data, in effect providing higher resolution information for monitoring the environment. Space Apps Gothenburg team members include Allen Smith, James Omoya, Patrik Bäckström, Nico Boh, and Marcus Hedenström.
The award for Most Inspiring goes to the solution that captured our hearts and attention… Congratulations to T-10: a prototype mobile application for use on the International Space Station and on the ground to connect with the crew. Space Apps London team members include Kate Arkless Gray, Dario Lofish, Ketan Majmudar, and Joao Neves.
The award for People’s Choice goes to the solution that received the highest number of public votes. Congratulations to ChicksBook: an app that can help you learn how to raise chickens and manage the data for your own backyard farm. Space Apps Sofia team members include Pavel Kolev, Ivan Zhekov, Stoyan Ivanov, Kiril Nikolov, and Atanas Keranov.
Congratulations to all these amazing teams.
Interested to see more videos or read about the other globally nominated projects? See the full list here.
We have 133 projects qualified for global judging… and we’re excited to see which one is the People’s Choice!
Voting for the People’s Choice award starts tomorrow! You’ll go to the Awards page and click on the Vote button next to your favorite project. Anyone and everyone is eligible to vote for the project they consider most deserving of the title People’s Choice.
We are using Twitter to collect votes and have assigned a unique hashtag to each project. Individuals simply need to tweet @spaceapps with the hashtag of their favorite project to vote. This hashtag is not alterable, so please be sure that you are sharing the correct one so that we can track your support online.
If you have a Twitter account: everything should work from the website as long as you are also signed in to your Twitter account.
If you do not have a Twitter account: no problem! Go here to create an account. Once you have an account and are signed in, go back to the Awards page and select the project you would like to vote for.
Please help spread the word about your favorite projects! Voting is only open until May 17th. We want to hear what #SpaceApps project you believe deserves a special award.
The global judging panel is reviewing the 133 nominated projects to award Best Use of Data, Best Use of Hardware, Galactic Impact and Most Inspiring. These best-in-class awards will be announced on May 22 along with the People’s Choice winner. Want further details on the International Space Apps Challenge voting process? Go here to read more.
We had a very large response to the International Space Apps Challenge this year by people who were participating virtually. Over 1,400 people from all corners of the world participated online to tackle the 58 challenges. 170 solutions were submitted and today we are announcing the top 4 virtual winners! These teams will progress to the global judging round and will also receive two K’NEX Building Sets which were provided by the organizers of the Philadelphia Main Stage location.<drum roll>And the winners are…
- Inbound - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/inbound/ A minimalist and modern display mount that shows the frequency with which Earth is bombarded by coronal mass ejections emanating from the Sun.
- Mars Watchtower - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/mars-watchtower/ An interactive web-app that allows users to explore the recent and past weather of Mars.
- NEO Database - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/neo-database/ A visualization of nearly 600,000 cataloged asteroids and analysis of their economic prospects.
We would also like to highlight five other solutions that received “honorable mentions:”
- Way Station - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/waystation/ An app to help connect astronauts on the International Space Station with everyday people.
- REPROV Wheel - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/reprov-wheel-self-replicant-rover-wheel-/ An original conceptual 3D design of a self-replicating exploration rover, with details plans of its wheel, suitable for printing.
- Clucker! - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/clucker/ A web-based application that provides backyard flock management.
- Telescope Schedules - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/telescope-schedules/ An exploration of space telescopes and when they are looking at what.
- Mars 24/7 - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/mars-247/ A mission design for a constellation of cubesats that will provide 24/7 images of the surface of Mars.
</drum roll>We look forward to reviewing all solutions nominated for global judging. As a reminder to all those who were nominated, here’s what you need to do to compete at the global level:By May 1:
- Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Philadelphia) 1S Red Giant Concert - http://spaceappschallenge.org/project/sch-academy-1s-red-giant-concert/ First graders listened to Red Giant Concert, chose instruments, planned their entrances, and created their own Red Giant Concert.
Congratulations to everyone!
- Prepare a 100 word description of your project and place it at the top of the Description field on your project page.
- Prepare a 2:00 minute video giving an overview of your project. (including demo if possible)
- Be sure that your project page is as complete as possible with resources, all team members, all code.
Congratulations! The weekend is over… but #SpaceApps is definitely still on and moving into global judging! You can read the specifics of how judging and awards will work here.
Next steps for projects and teams that won their local event and are globally nominated:
1. You need to be sure that your project page is as complete as possible. All team members, all code, links to any photos, presentations and datasets, social accounts if you have them – the more information you have included on your page, the better. If you have a software project where the code is not included, you will not be eligible for judging.
2. You need to make a video. For local judging, you gave a presentation in person. For global judging, we need you to make a video introducing your team, describing and demo-ing your solution. The video can be simple or fancy, but should be no more than 2 minutes and should highlight the impact of your project. You will have until May 1, 2013 to submit a video describing your challenge and solution and link it to your project page.
Check out this awesome example from Space Apps Kansas City for their project Sol:
And another great video example from Space Apps Kennedy Space Center (plus a virtual collaborator) for their project Inbound:
Great submission videos will tell the story of your team, why you chose your challenge or thought it was important, what you accomplished, how you got there, and what the next steps are.
You should also start to think about sharing the story of your project online and with your friends, as there will be a People’s Choice award given to the project with the highest number of public votes!
We can’t wait to put up all these videos on spaceappschallenge.org and share the stories of the people and the projects collaborating for Earth and for space. Watchspaceappschallenge.org and @spaceapps for updates and information. We expect to announce the Global Best in Class awards on May 22.
Congratulations and good luck!
This weekend, more then 9,000 people and 484 organizations from around the world came together in 83 cities across 44 countries, as well as online, to engage directly with NASA at the largest hackathon ever held. In just 83 total hours, we collectively tackled the 58 challenges by developing awe-inspiring software, buiding jaw-dropping hardware, and creating stunning data visualizations that together resulted in one giant leap towards improving life on Earth and life in space. After the dust settled, an impressive 750+ solutions were submitted.
The International Space Apps Challenge was the culmination of months of planning, years of experimentation and thousands and thousands of hours of hard work from people across the globe who share in the excitement of building our collective future. It is a shining example that transparency, participation and collaboration are alive and well at NASA. This event could not have been possible without you.
Our space program, more then ever, requires the active engagement of the public to co-create our future. This weekend demonstrated the true potential of participatory exploration and what can happen when a government agency like NASA takes a chance on engaging the untapped, unexpected, and uncharted know-how of thousands of passionate citizens around the world.
THANK YOU for participating in the International Space Apps Challenge.
With huge respect,
Nick, Ali, Chris, Sean and the Space Apps team
Dr. Phil Metzger is a physicist/planetary scientist at NASA Kennedy Space Center who works on technologies for mining the Moon, Mars, and asteroids; for developing extraterrestrial spaceports; and for robotic industry in space. Outside his day job he blogs on his vision for extending human civilization into the solar system (and graciously allowed us to cross post his blog.). At this weekend’s International Space Apps Challenge, he created a challenge called Moonville and joined the event at the Kennedy Space Center.
I am sitting in a room at at the Kennedy Space Center for the International Space Apps Challenge. It is late at night, I’m very tired, and there are eight other people in the room: all much younger than me, all college students, all writing software for a game called “Moonville“. It will be a strategy game where the players simulate the beginnings of industry in the solar system. I submitted the Moonville topic to the Space Apps Challenge so that eventually people will play the game and through the game develop a winning strategy that we can use to actually start industry in space. It’s an exercise of double-nested crowdsourcing. The Space Apps Challenge is crowdsourcing the writing of the game, so the game can crowdsource the development of the strategy for space industry. I’m amazed how much these students have gotten done already, just sitting here in a room by themselves with their laptops, a wifi, and this older guy (me) answering a few questions. They started entirely from scratch before dinner. They plan to be done by lunchtime tomorrow. I didn’t know this was even possible.
Developing a Moonville game to help colonize the solar system
A few minutes ago they were taking a pizza break, and I told them that the fate of humanity very well could depend on space hackers. I asked, what if the governments of the world don’t prioritize space highly enough to get lunar industry started? What if the commercial space companies don’t find enough investors to fund more than their immediate business plans and so are unable to truly colonize space? Who then will take humanity beyond this planet? I’m thinking it will have to be the private citizens of the world, space hackers like these young people. Individually, they may not have billions of dollars like the private investors, or trillions of dollars like the governments of the world, but collectively they have much, much more.
For example, there are seven billion of us here on planet Earth, so what if just four billion of us paid one dollar a year for ten years into this future in space? That would amount to forty billion dollars. That should be enough to get the job done. Just one dollar a year. Surely we can do that.
But we might not convince four billion people to participate. Too many people don’t understand that a higher level of civilization is really possible. It seems too much like science fiction and so they don’t want to throw away their dollar. So here is another idea. How about if just the space enthusiasts of the world do it? We have something more valuable than cash, after all. We have our abilities and our time. We could start developing the relevant technologies in our garages. Some of us could build lunar soil-mining robots. (There are already hundreds of people building robots in their garages for competitions and for fun.) Other enthusiasts could develop soil-to-metal refineries in the Hackerspaces that are popping up all over the world. Others could adapt 3D printers for use with lunar-derived feedstock. Still others could write software to teleoperate this equipment. How about if we agree to build these things for a few years and then bring it together to a volcano or to a desert location for a full-up, lunar-analog field test? We could demonstrate the equipment functioning like it would on the Moon, robots building robots from nothing but the soil and some ice and the sunlight as inputs. (We could add some carbon dioxide and ammonia to the water ice to better simulate the chemistry of lunar ice.) It would certainly be a grand party, as well as a great field test! You could count me in!
So how about if we do this every other year for a decade or two, improving our technologies until we have engineered an entire set of hardware that can build a copy of itself? It would be like the Global Village Construction Set, but designed for the Moon. It would be a tangible demonstration that self-sufficient space industry is now possible, that humanity can master the solar system and possess billions of times greater capacity to do things than we can here on planet Earth. It would demonstrate the imminence of human civilization at a truly higher level and the possibility to solve the big global problems including pollution, poverty, and resource depletion. It would give hope and excitement to the next generation of youth. It would enable us to do great things on Earth, in our solar system, and in the galaxy. If we do this — in our spare time in our garages — how could the politicians and the corporate financiers of the world fail then to pay the last bit of cost in sending it to the Moon?
The eight space hackers busily writing software here where I sit are by no means alone in the International Space Apps Challenge. Over eight thousand space enthusiasts are participating in this event tonight. Some are in other rooms of this building, working on more of the 52 challenges besides Moonville. And participants are all over the world, including the 83 official event locations in places like Tokyo, Manila, Abu Dhabi, Managua, Nairobi, New York — cities in 44 countries on all seven continents. Eleven of the locations are completely “sold out” with no room for more participants. According to the NASA website, those are in Adelaide, Bangalore, Bogota, Guatemala City, London, Monterrey, Recife, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Marta, Santiago and Toronto. Space enthusiasm is not limited to the countries that are already flying in space! It is a global phenomenon. The young people that I am watching in this room are right now collaborating with others in Ecuador. Meanwhile, I’m answering Moonville questions from Lieden, emailing participants in Rome, waiting for the 2:30 a.m. Google Hangout with Jakarta, typing this blog post, and reflecting on how the fate of humanity might depend on young space hackers like these.
And you know what? I’m feeling pretty good about that.
You can see the projects developed for the Moonville challenge at Space Apps 2013 here.
Here in Toronto at the featured NASA Space Apps Youth Event, we have a roomful of intensely curious young makers taking a shot at a half a dozen different challenges.At the “Create an Exoplanet Alien" challenge, kids are devotedly working on their design for an alien life form. Nearby, three 3D printers are chugging away printing off the aliens. Afterwards, they can go to "Create a Planet" to design a home for their alien, and then visit "Wish You Were Here" to put themselves - in full astronaut costume! - in a postcard from another planet. The "CubeSat" challenge uses origami to solve an engineering problem for tiny satellites. Plus there’s fun to be had with meteorites, a space-dress-up photobooth, and creepy Oobleck tentacle creatures made from cornstarch.Other kids are creating a soundtrack for the event by combining deep space sounds as our in-house DJs, and remixing videos from space to make something new. Meanwhile, the whole event is swarming with youth microbloggers capturing the event on iPads and video cameras. http://hivetoronto.tumblr.com/.Thanks to the organizers and fabulous volunteers (led by Marianne Mader) from all the event partners:And a big hand to the sponsors who made this possible:Reporting by Jen Dodd (Toronto Mini Maker Faire 2013)