This weekend, join the world's largest hackathon: NASA Space Apps Challenge - DC


Apr. 22, 2016 10:10 am

This weekend, join the world’s largest hackathon: NASA Space Apps Challenge

The local outpost of a planet-wide hackathon is at TechShop DC-­Arlington. Here's why you should get involved.

One small step.

(Photo by Flickr user NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, used under a Creative Commons license)

This is a guest post by Space Apps volunteer organizer Andrej Arpas.

NASA’s Space Apps Challenge takes place April 23-­24 across the planet. And for the first time ever, the D.C. region is going to be involved.

This year there will be events taking place simultaneously in 193 locations spanning 72 countries. Locally, the massive collaboration will be at TechShop DC-­Arlington, a fantastic maker­space located minutes from the Crystal City metro stop. It’s a free event with smart people, from technologists, subject matter experts and other passionate data nerds.

This weekend, participants are asked to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualizations and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. This year, NASA is offering 26 challenges in six mission-­related categories: Aeronautics, Earth, International Space Station, Journey to Mars, Solar System and Beyond, and Space Technology.


More than 200 sources, including datasets, services and tools, will be available to challenge participants, which include tech-­savvy citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, families and students. Space Apps is one of the most challenging, innovative and, most importantly, inclusive hackathons around.

“We’re reaching out to women’s organizations influential in the data and maker communities to participate, and we encourage women­-led teams in the hackathon,” said NASA CTO for IT Deborah Diaz.

Every year teams across industries, cities, cultures, languages and time come together for these two days to discover and solve problems affecting all citizens of our planet, our solar system and beyond.

You can join a team or work individually, and you will share your project with local judges for the chance at an award and to move forward to global judging. At global judging, teams have the opportunity to win an invitation to a NASA launch event and to be featured on open.NASA.

The event is organized by volunteers, students, researchers and professionals in mathematics, computation and policy.

Can’t make it? Follow @spaceappsdmv on Twitter or track the #spaceappsdmv hashtag.

The NASA Space Apps Challenge is a massively collaborative undertaking. (Courtesy image)

The NASA Space Apps Challenge is a massively collaborative undertaking. (Courtesy image)

Andrej Arpas

Andrej Arpas works as a researcher at a Washington-based think-tank and devotes his free time to all things space and science. He was formerly an analyst intern with the Slovak labor ministry, which he joined after studying at the University of Manchester's school of law.


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