The International Space Apps Challenge is a two-day hackathon where teams of technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, developers, and students collaborate across the globe, using publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenges in software development, citizen science, hardware, and data visualization. For the 2013 event, more than 9,000 global citizens in 44 countries and 83 cities engaged directly with NASA for the largest hackathon in history. In just 83 total hours they collectively developed awe-inspiring software, built jaw-dropping hardware, and created stunning data visualizations that collectively went a long way to improving life on Earth and in space. The results? An unbelievable 770 solutions were submitted, thousands of people worked together to address challenges, and an immeasurable amount of enthusiasm and investment in exploration was created…
Ultimately, the International Space Apps Challenge represents our latest efforts in working together – with YOU – to enable us all to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown. The first and second annual events have been an experiment within government to adapt to the changing external environment, embrace new technologies, engage with our citizens, and encourage collaborations and partnerships. This is the result of the government recognizing that we can be more relevant for our stakeholders and intentionally create a culture of openness as we attempt to evolve into a twenty-first century space program for a twenty-first century democracy.