NASA’s 10th Space Apps Challenge Increases Global Participation


Space Apps logo
Space Apps logo
Credits: NASA

To mark the 10th International Space Apps Challenge, the largest annual global hackathon in the world, NASA is collaborating with nine space agency partners to bring the event to even more communities Oct. 2-3, 2021.

Each year, NASAs International Space Apps Challenge, or Space Apps, engages thousands of people around the world to work with the agencys open source data in a 48-hour sprint. Since its start in 2012, Space Apps has grown from 25 local events in 17 countries to more than 250 local events in 87 countries and territories. In 2020, the program engaged 26,000 people. Teams of technologists, scientists, designers, entrepreneurs, artists, and others collaborate to answer some of the most pressing challenges on Earth and in space.

Over the last ten years, open data has been the cornerstone of Space Apps. Thanks to open innovation programs like Space Apps, the public knows that NASAs vast data archives are freely available to browse online, said Kevin Murphy, NASAs chief data officer.

ESA (European Space Agency), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Canadian Space Agency, Australian Space Agency, Brazilian Space Agency, National Space Activities Commission of Argentina, Paraguayan Space Agency, South African National Space Agency and the Bahrain National Space Agency will join NASA to extend collaboration in the Space Apps Challenge.

Space Apps inspires local communities to come together and think creatively. A panel of experts selects the winning teams, and awards include an invitation to visit a rocket launch in the United States.

Space agency partners will provide subject matter experts to judge project submissions and promote the event in their countries and regions. They also will have an opportunity to provide open data, interact with participants over hackathon weekend, record video tutorials, and help coordinate local events.

We are really proud of Space Apps and the way the program has engaged people from all over the world, said Sandra Cauffman, deputy director of NASAs Earth Science Division. Over the next ten years, we would like to work with our partner space agencies to expand our geographic footprint even more to include people from all regions of the world and populations that are underrepresented in the STEM fields such as women and girls.

Past winners include a team of high schoolers and their mentors who created an idea for an augmented reality game that taught players about wildlife conservation and environmental preservation. Another team included a brother and sister in grade school who created a piece of music using NASA open data and homemade instruments that documented the environmental changes happening during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Space Apps is managed by NASAs Earth Science Division.

This years event will be entirely virtual. Participant registration is open through Oct. 3, 2021 at:

https://www.spaceappschallenge.org/

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