NASA International Space Apps Challenge

Apr 29, 2016 by The . Topics include , , , , , , ,

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We indeed had liftoff!

Friday April 22nd, folks of all ages poured into in a punctual manner to get started with 2016’s NASA International Space Apps Challenge in Augusta. In it’s fifth year, the Space Apps Challenge is organized by NASA to offer over 20 challenges in six categories, providing data for people around the world to collaborate and come up with their best


We began the event with a packed room of participants, parents, and mentors. After reviewing the challenges offered by NASA, groups were formed of those interested in creating solutions for the same challenge. We settled on ten groups to start, with 30 participants.

The ‘Near Earth Object’ challenge had one enthusiastic taker who took it upon himself to learn some Python computer programming language to better create a solution. The task at hand: working on algorithms to track objects whose trajectory is near the path of Earth’s orbit. Check out the coding below:

Photo Apr 23, 4 57 59 PM


Team J.K.A.H.S.M. opted for the ‘Asteroid Mining’ challenge. The team of six collaborated to deliver an idea and means for testing the composition of an asteroid to determine the viability of mining it. If found to be lucrative, the asteroid would then be crashed into Mars. The crashing part is to, hopefully, enable for an easier extracting of the desired materials.

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A group of guys came together to create and design a board game based on the colonizing of Mars challenge, ‘Space Route 66′. With a realistic view in mind, the game covers 900 years, factoring in travel to & supply of the base on Mars; also manufacturing, farming, establishment of government, and population growth. The objective is achieving an independent civilization on Mars.

Photo Apr 23, 11 13 35 AM


Every trip deserves the proper attire, and the challenge ‘Jet Set Mars’ gave a team of two the opportunity to address just that. Considering there are options to how to experience an environment like that of Mars, the duo created a website which enables users to mix and match gear for particular uses. Consider a set of shoes whose soles would gather soil samples. Why waste a step?

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Working on the challenge ‘Space Recreation’, two friends developed a Jeopardy-style game about the universe. Some questions were about our own solar system; others stretched out to the far reaches of the galaxy. It served as a great time-filler while we awaited the judging process.

Photo Apr 22, 10 27 24 PM


A group of five guys decided on the challenge, ‘Print My Rocket’, designing their rocket and an accompanying Kennedy Launch Center in 3D-CAD. They  worked with a mentor to actually fill the 3D-printed rocket with combustible material to have a real launch on the parade grounds! They won the People’s Choice award for the weekend.

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Considering her interest in Sims-styled games, a young lady developed renderings for the ‘Sims Space’ challenge. These preliminary components were created in Adobe Illustrator, and she will continue to explore the development of this game over the next few months…because someone has to make the cool games!



A couple of other young men got to work on the challenge ‘Print My Rocket’ as well. They used 3D-CAD to design a rocket and 3D-print it, completing their endeavor by Saturday afternoon. Talk about fast-paced work!

Photo Apr 23, 4 58 52 PM[a-team]

A trio of friends showed up and delivered with the ‘Book it to the Moon’ challenge. Team Space Manatees, Inc. was the judges’ choice for the Grand Prize of the weekend. They developed a website showcasing creativity based on the moon, incorporating original, as well as found, content, ranging from visual art to poetry, short stories and essays.


Overall, folks delivered on a lot of solid ideas with a degree of enthusiasm you cannot buy. Thanks to all the future space cadets, engineers, and dreamers who participated in a jam-packed weekend. Thanks also to our mentors who provided their expertise for the next generation. And thanks to our sponsors: Booz-Allen-Hamilton; EDTS; CMA Technology; Adept Imaging; Atlas Heating & Air; MoonPie; ATDC; MailChimp;Sand Hill Endeavors; Conima Architects; Sumo Robot League; SRS Women in Nuclear; Augusta Mayor’s Office. Keep your skills sharp for next year everybody!


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Located in a historic 1802 Schoolhouse, our space is divided into two wings. One for learning and prototyping, and one for coworking and business incubation. Our membership comes from a wide variety of backgrounds that all consider themselves some measure of hacker, maker, and doer. I am an architect. We have entrepreneurs, business people, teachers, engineers, designers, artists, and Jacks and Jill’s of all trades, and of course many software and hardware developers.

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