NASA’s annual Space Apps Challenge recently took place across the globe, with teams of young engineers, coders, makers, artists and storytellers connecting over NASA mission-related challenges.
The 2016 Space Apps challenge is the largest international annual hackathon where teams work together over a 48-hour period to create solutions for the challenges set by NASA’s Open Innovation Initiative team – with the global winners receiving an invitation to a rocket launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
This year, over 160 locations hosted participants for the event and PA’s digital solutions team took on the task of organising the London event for the second year running – one of the largest around the globe.
The London participants quickly formed 13 fantastic teams and set about making short work of the challenges. Working from early Saturday morning, through the night and finally finishing on Sunday afternoon, a variety of creative, innovative and original ideas were presented to the London judges. PA’s Russell MacDonald said: “The pitches were high quality and combined technical depth with great concepts and design, and compelling presentations. We had some very polished pitches that were practically ready for the market.”
After much deliberation, the judges chose to award two nominations for the global judging round to CubeShot, an application for intelligent time scheduling across multiple satellite operators, and Canaria, a wearable device for monitoring CO2, oxygen and other health aspects of astronauts whilst remaining comfortable and unobtrusive.
Votes from the participants determined the winer of the People’s Choice nomination, which went to Dark Rush – a board game with floating suns, magnetic pieces and orbital mechanics.
One attendee summed up the event: “It was my first hackathon and it was amazing.”
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