The Space Apps Challenge takes place in cities across the world, and invites entrepreneurs to produce relevant solutions to address global needs, applicable to both life on Earth and life in space.
This year’s winners at the Waterloo challenge include:
- Hackstreet Boys, which won in the Our Planet Our Home category, for its work on relating atmospheric carbon data from the OCO-2 satellite to ice sheet reduction. Hackstreet Boys also received the SkyWatch challenge award for their work with the SkyWatch API to access the atmospheric carbon data for their app.
- gWave, which won in the Mayday, Mayday, Mayday category for its work on assessing radiation exposure to polar commercial airline flights
- JAM, which won the award to progress to the National CSA challenge, for its work on decoding the Alouette-1 legacy imagery
- Four Shades of Brown, which took home the People’s Choice Award for its smart city application.
Over the next few days, these teams will produce a short 30-second video about their ideas for the NASA global challenge. Winners of the global challenge will then be invited to attend a rocket launch with NASA employees.
This year’s challenge took place across 187 cities with 25,000 participants, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen showed up to speak at the Waterloo and Toronto hackathons. “The NASA Space apps Challenge is unique to any other hackathon. Not only is it the largest collaborative STEM-based hackathon in the world, but it attracts a diverse group of people to collaborate on real solutions,” said Oksana Salamaszek, co-organizer of the Space Apps Challenge in Toronto. “Toronto has gone on to the globals more than any other city and with the support of the Canadian Space Agency this year, we are proud to have hosted our most successful event to date.”
Past Space Apps Challenge winners have included SkyWatch, which won the 2014 NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge for creating software dedicated to helping astrophysicists and the public access satellite and remote-sensing data. The company now hosts Waterloo Space Apps Challenge and has gone on to complete programs including Techstars NYC and the Google for Entrepreneurs initiative.