25 April 2012
The International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) at Harwell Oxford recently hosted the NASA Space Applications Challenge that took place on a global scale over the weekend of 21 and 22 April 2012.
The ISIC hosted event was opened via a welcome from the astronauts on board the International Space Station followed by the Challenge team at NASA. Ruth Broumphrey, Head of Earth Observation at the UK Space Agency then welcomed the participants to their 30 plus hours of coding challenge.
NASA’s goal for the event was to “promote innovation through international collaboration”. Space exploration is the ideal catalyst to foster this culture of innovation, and NASA, in collaboration with government agencies and other organisations, brought together 2,083 registered participants (aged 16-70) to address 71 challenges. More than 100 unique solutions were developed in less than 30 hours, all in a completely open source environment. Each solution has the potential to go even further to address world and space technology challenges.
Barbara Ghinelli, Executive Chair of ISIC said, “The event was a great success – and ISIC was delighted to host it. Many of the ISIC members also sponsored the weekend and took part, and all participants really enjoyed working in teams on their selected challenges.” She added “On the Sunday, we were lucky to have two NASA representatives sit on the judging panel, along with representatives from ISIC and the UK Space Agency. First prize went to the team working on ‘Open Data Challenge’ – to make Kepler data more accessible or ‘create something amazing with it’. Second place went to the team working on ‘Mobile Environment Mapping’ and third place went to a 16 year-old who worked on the challenge ‘BakerFaire’ or how to cook successfully in space! In all, ISIC contributed eight solutions to the global total of 100 – a great example of how ISIC can support the development of new space applications.”
In addition to the technology developed, the event generated considerable global media coverage, resulting in 72 articles, including landing on the front of the BBC website on 21 April 2012. Gov2.0Radio provided special coverage for the event which included 45 interviews with organizers, experts and participants from all locations. The entire event was streamed online to thousands of people around the world, and although hard to measure the total number of viewers, the twitter stream alone generated 3.3M impressions.
Over the next few days, the top 50 developed solutions will be highlighted on the Space Applications Challenge webpages.
For more information, please contact Karen Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)7780 468922.