The 2014 NASA International Space Apps Challenges Announced

Space Apps Challenge. Screenshot by Ariane Coffin.
Space Apps Challenge. Screenshot by Ariane Coffin.

Want to participate in a hackathon to help NASA? Then the NASA International Space Apps Challenge is for you. Whether you can code or not, are signing up solo or with a group, want to attend one of the organized events or virtually, you can still participate. The Space Apps is looking for all kinds of people to become part of the hive mind on April 12th and 13th: engineers, artists, teachers, students, etc. The challenge is open to “anyone who has a passion for changing the world and is willing to contribute.”

On Monday, March 17th, the NASA International Space Apps Challenge has announced their 2014 challenge lineup. This year, the 50+ challenges are split into these 5 categories: technology in space, human space flight, asteroids, earth watch, and robotics.

Challenge categories. Screenshot by Ariane Coffin.
Challenge categories. Screenshot by Ariane Coffin.

The challenges range from complicated to more simple, from technical to artsy, from serious to fun… Here are some of my favorites examples:

Technology in space: Space wearables: fashion designer to astronauts—“Your challenge is to design wearable clothing and accessories that could be useful for space travelers and/or the engineers and technicians involved with ground processing spacecraft and rockets.”

Human space flight: Growing food for a martian table—“Develop a conceptual design of a deployable greenhouse that could be used for pre-deployment on a space mission to the Moon or Mars.”

Asteroids: Make your own asteroid movie—“Create an asteroid movie with real asteroid observation data.”

Earth watch: Where on Earth—“Create a game or app that displays satellite images of places around the world and asks users to guess where and what they are.”

Robotics: ExoMars rover is my robot—“People have created models of the NASA Curiosity rover—this project would try to test actual functionality using robotic hardware/software.”

For more information, you can follow @SpaceApps on Twitter or Space Apps Challenge on Facebook. Online registration is open. You can also view the list of last year’s winners, from “best use of data” to “most inspiring.” Perhaps you can figure out the secret sauce that made them so successful?

Ariane is a programmer married to another programmer. Together they have two little girls who don't stand a chance against their nerdy lineage. Ariane can also be found writing about STEM travel at Geekling's Guide to the Galaxy.