Space Apps Challenge 2017

NASA is on a mission to foster innovation through a diversity of perspectives and is encouraging global citizens to come together to solve perplexing problems faced by NASA Scientists on a daily basis.

The Space Apps Challenge is one of the largest hackathons in the universe and part of the NASA’s Open Innovation Programme.

For 48 hours, passionate innovators and problem solvers from all over the world are welcome to join the Space Apps Challenge, and create solutions that will be part of the next generation of space technology!

Key Dates

First Prize

Pre-Hackathon Workshop

Thursday, 20 April

Learn about the challenge areas from the experts and start thinking about your solution to address them!

Sign Up Now
Third Prize

Space Apps Challenge

Saturday-Sunday, 29-30 April

Prototype your solution, consult with expert mentors, pitch to a panel of judges, and stand to win a chance to represent Singapore!

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Supporting Partner


Venue Partner



The theme for this year’s Space Apps Challenge is “Earth”.


For a detailed look at all the challenges you will have a chance to choose from, visit

The following is a summarised look at the five challenge areas and the challenge statements under them:


1. The Earth and Us

NASA Earth Science uses space-borne and aircraft measurements to help us characterize, understand, and predict variability and trends in Earth’s system for both research and specific applications. As our only known habitat, this planet — including its phenomena like climate and weather, and natural resources like forests and oceans — influences all aspects of our lives. NASA Earth Science data and products allow us to understand our home planet and its response to natural or human-induced changes, which helps us make informed decisions to enhance our lives.

Let’s go to the Beach!: Build a tool for beach-goers to monitor for hazards and to alert them of precautionary measures for protection on their swim- and surf-filled adventures!

You are my Sunshine: Create a medium to help people understand energy output from a solar panel, and a tool to plan energy consumption based on expected energy output from solar technologies.

What’s for Dinner?: Map the life cycle of your favorite food product or dish, and put on your chef’s hat to create its most environmentally sustainable version!

Live Smart: Evaluate environmental, social, and economic data to design tools and plan blueprints for smart and connected rural and urban settlements.

Pilots Plus: Provide private aircraft pilots and passengers with an easy-to-use tool that gives information about the land underneath their flight plans.


2. Planetary Blues

Making up roughly 60% of the mass of our bodies and over 70% percent of the surface of the Earth, liquid and frozen water are naturally of interest to NASA as we search for water and life on other planets, and try to meet the increasing demands for freshwater here on Earth. NASA Earth Science data and products allow us to better manage water quality and quantity, and to predict processes of the global water cycle.

Where’s the Water?: Use satellite and other data to allow farmers, landowners, and land managers in your locale to identify and visualize water resources in their surroundings.

Icy Polar Opposites: Design a data analysis and/or visualization tool to show the spatial and temporal changes in Arctic and Antarctic ice to a general audience.

Water, Water, Everywhere!: Develop a tool that provides emergency management personnel with an up-to-date flood-risk map for an area of interest.

The Arctic Game: Design a mobile game that helps document the local Arctic environment by crowdsourcing photos and information, while enhancing intercultural and intergenerational learning in the Inupiaq communities.


3. Warning! Danger Ahead!

Natural disasters, like wildfires, earthquakes, and landslides, wreak havoc on the lives of people all over the world every year. Additionally, many natural phenomena bring with them increased risks of deaths and illnesses from exposure to hazardous chemicals and pollutants, and the spread of communicable diseases. NASA’s Earth observations allow improved understanding and forecasting, and thus, better preparation for and response to these threats.

When Landslides Strike: Design an easy-to-use tool to allow the public to discover and understand landslide data, and to contribute their own observations for use by emergency managers.

And YOU can Help Fight Fires!: Build a fire-monitoring and crowdsourcing tool that will allow local fire managers to respond to wildfires.

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!: Calculate and visualize the radiation exposure for an actual or hypothetical polar, or near-polar flight!

Every Cloud: Map severe weather conditions with the presence of local atmospheric aerosols to identify potential connections!


4. Our Ecological Neighbourhood

NASA conducts explorations in search of life not only on other planets, but also to understand life right here on our home planet. The 18 Earth Science missions that orbit the Earth reveal clues about the environments and species that make up our ecological neighborhood, and help us answer questions about our biosphere.

Migratory Travels and Travel Stories: Pick a migratory species of your choice and build a tool that shows the distribution of their available habitats, and track their sightings in real time!

Our Planet, Our Home: Compare NASA Earth science data with data about people and tell your own story of human-environment interactions!

Trace Invaders: Develop a tool to trace invasive species in your neighborhood over time!

Where the Genes Flow: Map and compare population genetics of a species with landscape features, climate conditions, and human activities in a region to identify potential barriers or facilitators to gene migration and local adaptation.


5. Ideate and Create!

Reaching out to the farthest expanses of our universe and diving deep to understand the mysteries of our own planet would not be possible without the innovative and creative spirit of explorers! NASA Earth Science channels the imagination of scientists, engineers, and storytellers like YOU to solve challenges that we face here on Earth.

Space Jockey: Build a tool that allows a user to virtually experience riding on any one of NASA’s current Earth observing satellites and allow for co-localization of data from various instruments.

Dictionary of Earth: Develop a creative way for the public and scientists alike to learn the definitions of Earth-related scientific and technical terms, using the power of crowdsourcing.

Earth is Cool!: Make a video to tell your story of how “Earth is cool!”

1D, 2D, 3D — Go!: Create tools that visualize Earth science missions and their data in three dimensions!

Small Spaces, Big Ideas!: Create crew-friendly designs for a habitat and/or its multi-use furniture, to be used for isolation studies on Earth that are researching the environmental and human dimensions of life on another planet.

Requesting a NASA Flyby!: Develop visualizations to provide NASA with new insights into airborne flights missions.

Data Concierge: Develop an artificial intelligence tool to help Earth science data users and enthusiasts find datasets and resources of interest!


If you have a question about the theme and challenge areas of the Space Apps Challenge, join us at the Launch Workshop, or send an email to


Pre-Hackathon Workshop

Participation in this workshop is not mandatory, but highly encouraged.

Join us to hear from experts as they explain and share their insights about the challenges, and join the discussion! Start thinking about your ideas, meet like-minded innovators, and form teams!

Date: Thursday, 20 April

Time: 6.30pm to 9pm (programme begins at 7pm)

Venue: LEVEL3, 20 Pasir Panjang Road, East Wing, Mapletree Business City, #03-22/24, Singapore 117439

Sign Up Now

Space Apps Challenge: Day 1

Start work as a team to build your prototype. Get expert advice from subject matter, tech and other mentors!

Date: Saturday, 29 April

Time: 9am to 9pm

Venue: SG Innovate, 32 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059911

Sign Up Now

Space Apps Challenge: Day 2

Fine-tune your presentation and pitch your solution to the judging panel.

Date: Sunday, 30 April

Time: 9am to 6pm

Venue: SG Innovate, 32 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059911


Got a question about the programme? Drop us an email at



What is UP Singapore

“Urban Prototyping” is a new movement where people from the public, private and people sectors come together to tackle the wide range of social and environmental challenges facing our cities. Urban Prototyping (UP) is a platform managed by Padang & Co, the Open Innovation Company, for crowdsourcing ground-breaking innovations – creating technology and data-enabled enterprises by giving participants access to new technologies and data. At the heart of this platform is a UP Singapore community of 8,000 innovators and change-makers.

What is NASA International Space Apps Challenge?

Space Apps is an international hackathon that occurs over 48 hours (29 April to 30 April) in participating cities around the world. It is also the very first time Singapore is participating in this global movement. Coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, and everyone enthusiastic about space are invited to come together to address challenges we face on Earth!

Do I need to be a coder, tech or data specialist in order to participate?

Not necessary as the solution you are prototyping does not limit to just apps. We welcome people with different skill-sets and would expect everyone to contribute to their respective teams. We will ask you to indicate what type of participant during the events, so we know the mix and to facilitate team formation.

It’s my first UP Singapore event. What exactly will happen during the hackathon weekend?

The Space Apps Challenge, like our hackathons, is intended to be a fun work event, where people volunteer their time to work on their ideas in teams. The hackathon starts on Saturday morning. On Saturday, a range of expert mentors at hand help you develop your idea and prototype. Most of Saturday and Sunday consists of work time for the teams, so please bring your laptop and any other equipment or materials that you need to work on your idea / prototype.

Wifi is provided throughout the weekend. Food, however, will be at your own expense.

The weekend culminates in pitch presentations on the Sunday afternoon, and the shortlisting of the top 2 teams to represent Singapore for global judging.

Please also see the UP hackathon code of conduct.

Is attendance at the pre-hackathon workshop on 20 April 2017, mandatory? What is in the workshop?

Attendance is not mandatory, but is highly encouraged. The pre-hackathon workshop will be a useful primer to the hackathon weekend. We will introduce the challenge areas and invite expert speakers to give them context. Also, you will be able to go through a short Design Thinking process to help you start thinking about your idea.

How many people are allowed in a team? Must I form a team beforehand?

All teams should have 3 to 5 people. You will have an opportunity to form your team during the events. You are also welcome to form your team in advance and come to the events together. However, there are limited team slots.

Are the participants free to use any technologies?

Yes, you are free to use any technologies. The use of tools introduced at the workshops is not mandatory. WiFi is provided, and please bring your own laptop.

What is the closing date for registration for the hackathon?

We accept registrations up to the start of the Hackathon on 29 April, or when all limited seats are taken, whichever is earlier. So we advise you to register as soon as possible

Do the participants need to be present throughout the weekend? Must participants stay overnight?

There is no restriction on your movement. Just make sure that all the team members work out your respective roles and responsibilities. The workspace will stay open till late (approximately 10pm) on Saturday. But you are not required to work overnight. We’d like everyone to have a good night’s sleep and come in fresh on Sunday!

Is there any age limit for the participants?

There is no age limit. We welcome anyone of any age, so long as they have something to contribute. However, if you are below 18 years old, please let us know ahead of time, so we can prepare a parental / guardian consent form for you.

What about licensing and IP rights?

All solutions built at the event must be submitted under an open source license that permits the free and open dissemination of the work. NASA and the other supporting organisations do not own the rights to nor are committed to utilise any solution developed during the event. See the legal statement for more details.

How will I submit a solution?

Teams have to register at in order to submit their projects online during the hackathon weekend from 29-30 April 2017.

How will projects be judged?

Projects will be judged at Singapore level first and then 2 teams will be nominated for global judging done by a NASA panel. Winners will be in 5 categories: Best Use of Hardware, Best Use of Data, Most Inspiring, Galactic Impact, Best Mission Concept. A 6th award will be publicly determined in the People’s Choice category. NASA Space Apps will reveal the global champion of each category during the week of May 23rd. Prize teams will be invited to attend upcoming NASA’s Rocket Launch in NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. (Travel costs is not included).




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