Greetings, Space Apps Crew!
The Space Apps celebration has officially begun! This weekend, join 22,000 of your closest friends in 200 cities across 70 countries for a global effort that spans virtually every region of the planet!
This year’s numbers have broken every Space Apps record to date!!!
It’s the Friday before the hackathon, and Mainstage East in New York City and Mainstage West in Silicon Valley have already sprung into action and are broadcasting their Data Bootcamp Pre-Events. Watch them on the livestream on our homepage!
Did you see the welcome sessions from the Mainstages? Watch the We Are Space Apps video they showed, featuring Space Apps participants from around the world:
The opening sessions also featured a special Space Apps video greeting from the HI-SEAS V crew in their Mars habitat simulation in Manoa, Hawaii, USA. The HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) project is a long-duration Mars habitat simulation operated by the University of Hawaii with support from NASA. The HI-SEAS goal is to develop a better understanding of human spaceflight to Mars, and the crew helped write two of this year’s Space Apps challenges, Small Spaces, Big Ideas and You Are My Sunshine, with that in mind! Check out life in the “hab:”
Mainstage East at Space Apps at New York City launched to an epic start with the opening keynote speech, “Dare to Dream,” delivered by Anousheh Ansari, the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station. A serial entrepreneur, and the first astronaut of Iranian descent, Anousheh shared the importance of imagination as she described her childhood spent staring at night skies full of stars!
NASA's Shobhana Gupta followed up with Anousheh from the Storytelling Booth at Mainstage East in NYC, where the Space Apps team is capturing interviews with panelists and speakers, as well as perspectives from participants on Twitter and Facebook Live. Shobhana asked Anousheh for words of advice that she would share with women who face push-back and challenges in their careers because of their gender, just as she did early in her journey to space. “What I do is I don’t focus on what other people think or don’t think I should do [...]. I focus on what I want to achieve […]. I gain the knowledge and capability and learn things that I need to do to accomplish my task and my goal and my vision to the best of my abilities."
Also from Space Apps NYC, meet the “HackPirateers:” Jinal Shah, Aditya Patil, Kashyap Murali and Krishan Ram. These four 9th graders are all 14 years old and attend West-Windsor Plainsboro High School South in New Jersey. The HackPirateers are all set for the competition this weekend! Aditya says what he’s most excited about is “the chance that we can use NASA data and with it make an impact in the world!”
Their project is called DSP— Disease Spreading Prevention. They say they have already done their background research and are eager to begin hacking together tomorrow, taking NASA population and environmental data and combining it with open data on diseases around the world to help users understand what diseases are happening and where. “On Saturday we’ll be doing lots of individual work, and on Sunday we’ll integrate all the different parts of our projects together,” says Kashyap.
The Storytelling Booth at Mainstage West in Silicon Valley (Palo Alto) is busy as ever as well!
SecondMuse’s Matt Scott got to interview panelist Patricia Jacobberger, Senior Advisor in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Patricia discusses why NASA studies the Earth, and why NASA decided to focus on Earth as the theme for this year’s Space Apps: “Studying Earth is a way to home in […] on one of the most important parts of the picture from the standpoint of humankind.”
This concept is no doubt familiar to biophysicist Naghmeh Rezaei, a first-time Space Apps
participant. She visited the Silicon Valley Storytelling Booth to talk about why she is interested in the Where
the Genes Flow challenge: “It's great to be part of the Space Apps Challenge, joining many talented people, great ideas, and pushing the limits with something that can be helpful to the planet and potentially improve life."
You can also check out other interviews from the Mainstages:
- NASA’s Datanauts visit with Elyssa Dole of SecondMuse
- Alex Meacham from the iMakr 3D Printing Store hosted a workshop in NYC today on 3D printing technologies
and YouTube host Sarah Pearson of @spacewsarah joins SecondMuse’s Davar Ardalan
- Mark Jackson of Fiat Physica speaks with Matt
Scott of SecondMuse
- Dan Rasky of the Space Portal Office at NASAAmes visits the Silicon Valley Storytelling Booth
Are you participating in Space Apps this weekend? Tell us about it:
Happy hacking, Space Apps Crew!
Special thanks to Davar Ardalan, Matt Scott, and the Space Apps locations mentioned here for their contributions to this article.