Join the NASA International Space Apps Challenges

Fifty contests mean there's an event for every technical bent

1 min read
Join the NASA International Space Apps Challenges

Open source will meet outer space for 48 hours this weekend. Starting on 20 April, 75 cities around the world will host code-a-thons and hackfests, with participants working to solve space-related problems. Those who can’t make it to a physical event can participate in the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge online—alone or as a member of a virtual team.

There are over 50 challenges in all, grouped into the four categories: hardware, software, citizen science, and data visualization. Specific challenges include improving the design of the Arduino-based ArduSat microsatellite, creating a game based on establishing a sustainable lunar industry, developing a mission plan for putting a transponder on a near-Earth asteroid, and finding a new way to visualize the data still being returned from the Voyager I spacecraft.

The event is being organized by NASA in coordination with European, Japanese, French, and British space agencies, as well as other organizations and companies including the U.S. Department of Energy, Tumblr, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Registration is required, especially if you wish to participate in person. All challenge solutions will be available under open source licenses, and prizes will be awarded for the best entries. Winners will be featured in an online gallery so that non-participants can check out the results when the event is completed.

Image: NASA

The Conversation (0)
Two men fix metal rods to a gold-foiled satellite component in a warehouse/clean room environment

Technicians at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems facilities in Redondo Beach, Calif., work on a mockup of the JWST spacecraft bus—home of the observatory’s power, flight, data, and communications systems.


For a deep dive into the engineering behind the James Webb Space Telescope, see our collection of posts here.

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals its first images on 12 July, they will be the by-product of carefully crafted mirrors and scientific instruments. But all of its data-collecting prowess would be moot without the spacecraft’s communications subsystem.

The Webb’s comms aren’t flashy. Rather, the data and communication systems are designed to be incredibly, unquestionably dependable and reliable. And while some aspects of them are relatively new—it’s the first mission to use Ka-band frequencies for such high data rates so far from Earth, for example—above all else, JWST’s comms provide the foundation upon which JWST’s scientific endeavors sit.

Keep Reading ↓Show less