RIT to host NASA Space Apps Challenge

Rochester community members invited to help improve life on Earth and in space during 48-hour event

Members of the Rochester community with a passion for changing the world will have the chance to work with NASA and people from all seven continents—and the International Space Station—during the second International Space Apps Challenge April 20–21. The 48-hour challenge will gather citizens from around the world to work together to solve challenges relevant to improving life on Earth and life in space.

Rochester, N.Y., was selected as one of 18 locations in the U.S., and 75 in the world, to host the NASA technology development challenge. The weekend event will start at 6 p.m. April 20 in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Student Innovation Hall, with a closing ceremony at 9 p.m. April 21.

During the two-day event, participants with a broad variety of skills will work in teams to create open-source solutions for 50 software, hardware and visualization challenges, including robotics, citizen science platforms and applications of remote sensing data. Challenges vary from developing a mobile application that allows observers of a meteor shower to trace the location, color and size of a shooting star to creating a narrative and visualization of NASA data that tells the “why” of space exploration.

NASA will announce the specific challenges on March 18. Two submissions from each location will be selected to advance to the next round of the top 150 projects worldwide.

“RIT and the Space Apps Rochester team have already shown themselves as leaders for the global event,” says Ali Llewellyn, International Space Apps Challenge project manager. “NASA is excited about collaborating with the Rochester community and we’re looking forward to big things coming out of the region.”

The local ROC Space Apps Challenge is open to anyone. Participants should bring their computers and devices needed for development. Parking is available in S Lot, and food and refreshments will be provided throughout the event. Prizes will be awarded in each of the five categories in addition to giveaways for each registered attendee. Prizes were donated by sponsor O’Reily Media.

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