NASA Launches Worldwide App Challenge

NASA and international governments are set to launch a competition challenging developers to design open data-based solutions.

NASA said Friday the International Space Apps Challenge will take place on April 21 and April 22.

Events will take place on all seven continents and on the International Space Station. 

The space agency said scientists, software developers and interested citizens can participate in the competition and form teams to develop mobile apps, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions based on publicly available information.

Michael Green, general manager of the Australian government’s space policy unit, said competitors will use space-derived data.

Green said this data has underpinned navigation, communications, emergency management, agriculture and climate science.

Chris Vein, deputy U.S. chief technology officer for government innovation at the White House’s science and technology office, said the app challenge reflects a shift in how the government interacts with citizens.

Vein echoes a change Vivek Kundra, former chief information officer and current Salesforce vice president of emerging markets, previously outlined.

Kundra voiced his vision of a social government that increasinfly interacts with citizens via apps and similar social media outlets. 

Vein said the NASA app challenge is a way for the government to involve citizens in problem solving for challenging issues facing the world. 

NASA said competition events will be held in: 

  • San Francisco
  • Tokyo
  • Melbourne and Canberra, Australia
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Exeter and Oxford, U.K.
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • McMurdo Station, Antarctica
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