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Now to answer two very important questions:

  1. How will judging work?
  2. Will there be awards?

Let me first emphasize one *very* important point – the International Space Apps Challenge is not about competition, it’s about collaboration. It takes many nations working together to build the space station and keep a human presence in space – and it will take many nations working together to go further and explore beyond. As one local lead noted, “It’s not about the awards – it’s about being part of something important. We have the skills and we want to share them.”

Nevertheless, we anticipate amazing results from this weekend and we want to honor exceptional work and the teams who performed it. So here is the plan.

1. Judging

To be considered for judging, you must register at spaceappschallenge.org and submit a project by the end of the two-day local event. Remember that the most vital consideration at this point is documenting your work well on spaceappschallenge.org and ensure that it has as much information as possible, including code repositories and all participating team members.  If you developed software, you must submit a link to your code to be included in global judging or you will be disqualified.

Judging will take place at every local event (including at the “virtual” location), as well as at a global level. Although we provide standard judging criteria to each local lead, the judging process at each location is at the discretion of the local lead. In most cases, the organizer of each event will convene a judging panel at the conclusion of the two-day hackathon and the panel will identify the top solutions. The local lead will then nominate two solutions for global recognition.

A total of 168 solutions will make it to the global judging round. Each team nominated for global recognition will be required to produce a short 2 minute video explaining their solution and embed the video onto their challenge page. We highly encourage you to make the video as creative as possible. If you need a good example, check out the winners from last year! You will have until May 1, 2013 to submit a video describing your challenge and solution.

A panel of judges consisting of representatives from NASA and other governmental and non-governmental organizations will evaluate the top solutions nominated by the local leads and select the best in class in the following categories:

  • Best Use of Data – The solution that best makes space data accessible or leverages it to a unique purpose / application.
  • Best Use of Hardware – The solution that exemplifies the most innovative use of hardware.
  • Galactic Impact – The solution that has the most potential to significantly improve life on Earth or in the universe.
  • Most Inspiring – The solution that captured our hearts and attention.

In addition to the top four best in class awards, there will also be an award for the solution that has the most public votes . The People’s Choice award will be determined from a public voting process facilitated through the spaceappschallenge.org website.

  • People’s Choice – Determined from a public voting process facilited through the spaceappschallenge.org website.

The winners will be announced on the spaceappschallenge.org and open.NASA blog on May 22.

2. Awards

Awards may be offered at each local event by organizations who wish to incentivize work on their challenges or at their location. Additionally, awards will be offered at the global level.

Examples of what might be offered at local events or by challenge owners:

  • Local awards offered at various locations at the discretion of the local organizer. For example, the National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center will offer personal space training flight suits to the top solutions at the Philadelphia location.
  • ESA will offer an open source RepRap printer, custom trophies and diplomas for the top solutions to the 3D Printing Challenge.
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center will offer 5-7 launch passes for the top solutions to the KSC sponsored challenges (Kennedy Space Center 2040, Bootstrapping of the Space Industry and Deployable Greenhouse). More information.

The following awards will be offered at the global level (additional details below):

As with all great events, terms and conditions will apply and additional details* will be communicated after winners have been identified. NASA, of course, reserves the right to cancel launch invitations at any time at its own discretion.

*Additional Details

More details are included below regarding the global awards from NASA Mars Exploration Program and NASTAR.

NASA Mars Exploration Program Global Award

NASA’s Mars Exploration Program will extend invitations for a launch viewing opportunity to the global winners at the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge in the following categories:

  • Best Use of Data
  • Best Use of Hardware
  • Most Inspiring
  • Galactic Impact
  • People’s Choice

Each of the five best in class winning teams will receive invitations to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to view the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) launch. Each team can designate up to 5 team members to receive launch invitations as a NASA invited guest. The invitation is for those team members plus one additional guest each and is non-transferrable. The invitations are available for U.S. citizens as well as non-U.S. citizens; all non-U.S. citizens must be approved by NASA security 45 days prior to the launch. All guests will be responsible for their own transportation and any costs incurred to attend the launch viewing.

The teams will also have an opportunity to meet with Mars Exploration Program and MAVEN (@MAVEN2Mars) team members. The MAVEN mission will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of volatile compounds—such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and water—from the Mars atmosphere to space has played through time, giving insight into the history of Mars atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

The team must designate the five team members within 30 days after the global winners have been announced. All team members must be listed on the submitted solution on spaceappschallenge.org. The winning solutions are expected to be announced on May 22nd.

Terms and conditions will apply; additional details will be communicated after winners have been identified. NASA reserves the right to cancel this invitation at any time at its own discretion.

2. National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center Award

The NASTAR Center is the premier FAA approved commercial aviation and space training, research, and educational center located just outside Philadelphia, PA; and is both a local and global supporter of the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge. NASTAR Center will award each of the five solution team winners a fully paid Introduction to Spaceflight Training Course where participants will experience firsthand what it is like to be an Astronaut for a day. The Introduction to Space course (valued at $500) teaches commercial spaceflight training tips, techniques, and applications to interested and future commercial astronaut candidates, and culminates in an “out-of-this world” full spaceflight mission launch to reentry simulation (up to 3Gs!) using the world’s most high performance spaceflight simulator, the Phoenix Centrifuge. For more information, visit www.nastarcenter.com or check out the online brochure.

The award is good for one person and is valid for one year from date of issue (see available program dates on www.nastarcenter.com). The award is transferable to another person, but cannot be applied toward another NASTAR Center program. NASTAR Center programs are available to U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens. All guests will be responsible for their own transportation and any costs incurred to attend NASTAR Center training.

Participation in the NASTAR Center programs is for participants 18 years and over. The team members must be listed on the submitted solution on spaceappschallenge.org. Team members must designate the five NASTAR Center training participants within 30 days after the global winners have been announced. The winning solutions are expected to be announced on May 22nd.

Terms and conditions will apply; additional details will be communicated after winners have been identified. NASTAR Center reserves the right to cancel this invitation at any time at its own discretion.

About Nick

Johnson Space Center

nicholas.g.skytland@nasa.gov