The Space Apps Challenge is a global student-organised event created by NASA, its supporting agencies and collaborating companies. The Challenge takes place at locations across the globe simultaneously, and the Department of Computer Science at the University of York is among the 50 host locations.
The Challenge is a codeathon-style event, which will bring together people interested in collaborating on developing solutions to address some of NASA's real-life challenges. Challenges range from creating an app to allow observers of a meteor shower to trace the location, colour and size of the shooting star, to exploring the dark side of the moon using available images and data by creating web applications and 3D-printed objects. Find out more about the challenges involved at http://spaceappschallenge.org/challenges/
The challenge is an international collaboration between government agencies, organisations, academic institutions and individuals from across the globe. Participants will work together in teams to create these solutions over the two-day event. Over 2,000 people participated in last year’s event, creating 101 open source solutions to challenges in space and on Earth. This year over 6,000 people have already registered, making this possibly the largest ‘hackathon’ in history.
York's event is organised and run by PhD students from the Department of Computer Science, and will also include involvement from industrial partners and a job fair. The York event is sponsored by the Department of Computer Science, Cybula, ARM, the Met Office, UK Space Agency, Satellite Applications Catapult, GitHub and Media Skunk Works. Several of the sponsors will host stands at the event and provide local prizes, and ARM and Media Skunk Works will act as judges.
Frank Soboczenski, a PhD student in York’s Department of Computer Science, is one of the organisers of the York student-led event. He said: “We’re really excited about hosting Space Apps in York. It is a fantastic opportunity for students, developers, designers and creative minds - everyone who is interested in space and Earth-related sciences – to present their skills and make a difference.
“I participated in last year’s event and it was great fun, as it’s a unique opportunity to work together with people from all over the world. NASA has not just created this event, but they are also involved in every aspect of Space Apps. This means that NASA, its supporting agencies and hundreds of collaborating companies will be watching what you are doing.
“We are also really pleased to have a number of industrial partners and companies working with us at York, both observing and judging the results.“
Winning global projects will go on show at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with the winning teams receiving special attention from NASA to further develop their app.
Between 60 and 80 people are expected to take part in the two-day challenge at York, with additional input from virtual participants from across the UK and beyond. The NASA Space Apps Challenge will take place from 10am on Saturday, 20 April until 5pm on Sunday, 21 April. The challenge is open to anyone interested in helping humankind explore space.
To join the challenge at York visit http://spaceappschallenge.org/location/york/ Follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SpaceAppsYork or Twitter www.twitter.com/SpaceAppsYork By taking part, you could be creating something that may be blasted into space in the near future!