This weekend, NASA's annual International Space Apps Challenge will have participants tackle big picture issues affecting space exploration and life on Earth.
This weekend, NASA is holding its annual International Space Apps Challenge, an event that has participants create solutions that can contribute to space exploration or help improve life on Earth. These solutions can range from creating educational games to building hardware for space travel.
Based in New York City, this year's event takes place April 12 and 13 and will feature 40 challenges separated into five themes: Earth Watch, Technology in Space, Human Space flight, Robotics, and Asteroids. Astronaut Colonel Douglas H. "Wheels" Wheelock will oversee Saturday's events.
Prizes are offered for great solutions, but NASA seeks to keep the focus on the spirit of collaboration. All solutions will be open source and use openly available data supplied through NASA missions and technology. The idea of the Space Apps Challenge was born from a discussion about what it truly means to innovate.
This year's challenges include developing a game to travel across the solar system going from asteroid to asteroid, creating a concept for a deployable greenhouse that could be used on a mission to Mars, and developing an application that displays the positions of missions currently in space.
While NASA is leading the global partnership, a number of government collaborators and over 100 local organizations are participating.