Competition: The world codes for NASA in International Space Apps Challenge

The world codes for NASA in International Space Apps Challenge

An international code-a-thon is set to take place in April on seven continents. And in space. From April 21-23, the 48-hour International Space Apps Challenge (ISAC) will take place in tech hubs and other spaces from San Francisco to Sao Paolo, Jakarta to Antarctica—and aboard the International Space Station. Crew members of the McMurdo Station in Antarctica and the ISS will participate, depending on the days’ work demands. Those who cannot attend at one of the code-a-thon locations are able to register independently to participate online.


ISAC is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in conjunction with the Second Muse think tank, and in cooperation with other space agencies. During the event, "citizens from around the world will work together to solve current challenges relevant to both space exploration and social need... using minimal resources and maximum brainpower to create outside-the-box solutions in response to interesting problems," according to the organizers.

Participants will form teams and tackle a set of pre-determined challenges that include creating an interface for NASA's planetary data, developing an HTLM5 tablet app for citizen scientists using earth science data from NASA's Earth Observations site, and an open data challenge that will use information from the Kepler space observatory.

One of the intriguing elements of the challenge is the goal to "(e)ngage citizens in countries with little or no investments in space exploration to contribute to space exploration through open source, open data, and code development." This is one of the reasons the challenge is being hosted by, among others, Nairobi, Kenya's iHub. Kenyans are not renowned for their space program but they are well known for their coding chops.

“We recognize that there are skilled and talented developers, makers and creators all around the world and we are excited to see what they...