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NASA’s Space Apps Competition Takes on Big Ideas Government Technology

(04/23/12) Sarah Rich

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently held its first International Space Apps Challenge, attracting participants from 24 countries for the opportunity to help find solutions for some of the space agency’s biggest challenges.  The two-day apps challenge also focused on software, open hardware, data visualizations, and citizen science platform solutions.  The participants were presented with various challenges, and were able to choose which projects they wanted to work on.  At the San Francisco site, participants worked with project members in other locations by blogging, video chatting, and tweeting.  One team developed a deployment capsule for experiments that would be sent into space, a mechanism that could be used for engaging students in science education.  OpenROV, which developed additional capabilities for an underwater robot prototype, and Daily Myths, an interactive Web tool for learning about astronomy through trivia-style questions, were nominated to advance to compete globally in the NASA competition.  The event is “part of the Obama administration’s open government strategy and the notion there is that if we open information data access to government, to citizens and people, then they will be able to do amazing things with that data,” says NASA’s Linda Cureton.

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