NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge is a hackathon with over 25,000 participants worldwide. Participants try to solve problems that exist both on Earth and in space; they can work on these problems individually or in a group. These problems are turned into projects and teams are given 48 hours to complete them, and when time is up the judges nominate teams which will then compete globally. With teams competing around the globe it is no easy task winning the challenge.The best projects are implemented by NASA to help with the problems that are occurring. The winning team gets the opportunity to witness the next launch into space.
One by one participants walked through the door of the Reno Collective biting at the bit to start working on projects and win the Space Apps Reno Challenge. It started with individual participants sharing a project idea and pitching to potential team members to join their project. Extraordinary ideas ranging from the data visualization, a map app, interplanetary currency, and a garden control/monitoring system were pitched and participants soon joined the idea they were most passionate about.
After the teams were created, they started brainstorming what they were going to do for their idea and how they were going to implement their idea. There was a loud chatter echoing for about 30 minutes and then suddenly, there was pure silence with only the noise of keys being rapidly hit on the participant’s keyboards. The participants were vigorously working for about three hours when they began to work a little slower, but then the cavalry came in… lunch. The teams needed some energy as they indulged in pizza and soda their minds and bodies became ready to work again. The teams then got back into action working on everything from the product to their company names and logos, and the teams did this until 10 PM.
The next day the teams only had until 5 p.m. to finish their entire project for the challenge. As soon as the teams walked into the building they were immediately working on their projects. They were trying to do as much as they could so they could edge out the competition. The teams then started to fine tune and make their projects perfect. Then during the final ten minutes the teams began frantically putting their final touches on, and making their presentations spotless.
Finally the teams presented and everyone’s hearts were beating very fast to know which team will win the challenge. After the judges conducted their results they chose Tractas and Ganymede Station as the champions of the challenge, and let’s also recognize the other two teams HigherGround and Interplanetary Cash for their hard work. Now let’s make sure to root on Tractas and Ganymede Station as they were both nominated to take on the rest of the globe.