NASA opens up the International Space Apps challenge

NASA has announced the opening of the International Space Apps competition, which aims to solve real problems using publicly available data as part of the Open Government Partnership.

“The competition embraces the concept of ‘open innovation’ to improve performance, inform decision-making, encourage entrepreneurship, and solve problems more effectively,” explained NASA’s Nick Skytland.

Despite being primarily a US-focused programme, the OGP extends to global – and, given NASA’s involvement, beyond – issues. Using publicly available data, teams or individuals develop software which addresses problems including the impact of weather on the global economy, depletion of ocean resources, and other hot-button topics.

The agency is already asking for ideas for projects, with users suggesting such things as a ‘NASA API’ for easy integration with the agency’s data stores, public access to medical data on how the human body responds to extreme conditions, and a distributed data storage system to provide high-speed high-throughput storage for scientific data.

Full details of the challenge, which is open to developers world-wide, are available on the official page – along with the link to make suggestion of your own.

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