The purpose of the Space Apps Challenge is to build innovative solutions to challenges we face on Earth and in space using NASA and partner space agency data.
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to use environmental data and other information (such as epidemiological, social, policy, and economic data) to build a smartphone application that provides individualized, geo-located, COVID-19 risk warnings to guide social awareness, response, and health security.
Or, if you prefer, to leverage Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to monitor, detect, and quantify plastic pollution and increase our understanding about using these techniques for this purpose.
Or, one of 26 other challenges proposed by NASA and nine other national space agencies during the 10th annual Space Apps Hackathon earlier this year. More than 4,500 teams from 162 countries and territories submitted more than 2,800 projects in this year’s edition of an event that has doubled in size in just the last three years.
Space agencies from every continent except Antarctica collaborated on the Hackathon, and collaborating companies included the likes of Adobe XD, GoDaddy, Registry, Google, IBM, Meteomatics, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams, Micro Planet, and Tableau, who offered free resources to the projects.
The purpose of the Space Apps Challenge is to build innovative solutions to challenges we face on Earth and in space using NASA and partner space agency data. NASA and its partners, including SecondMuse, recognize that the best ideas can come from anywhere on Earth and from anyone, irrespective of their professional expertise. That is one of several ways Space Apps celebrates diversity and collaboration. In years past, most successful solutions have been developed by teams of individuals with diverse skills, backgrounds, and experiences.
Participants on their maiden Space Apps voyage could orient themselves by enlisting in the Space Apps Virtual Bootcamp, available to everyone in the form of YouTube videos that highlight diverse groups of presenters. The videos instruct participants on a whole host of technical challenges, such as how to access satellite images, Earth observation data, climate models and much more.
Watch the Space Apps Virtual Bootcamp Video Welcome to Space Apps.
Participants were fortified by Local Leads in their regions who helped them prepare and connect with teammates before and during the Space Apps Challenge weekend in October. They organized virtual events for each city with at least one Space Apps team – dozens of communities from Aarush Chennai, India to Zaragoza, Spain and everywhere in between. Belo Horizonte, Brazil? Check! Benha City, Egypt? Yes! Benin City, Nigeria? Them too. Twenty-two American cities also fielded teams.
The 323 virtual events hosted by Local Leads helped participants prepare and connect with teammates before and during the challenge.
In addition, nearly 3,600 individuals registered for the Universal Event this year, which served those determined to participate but lacking a local event in their area. This extends the reach of Space Apps further and produces an even more inclusive event.
Space Apps is truly global. Teams from across the globe – and even beyond it – have participated during the decade of annual challenges. One project was even submitted in a previous competition from the International Space Station.