Space Apps in the News: NASA looks for solutions through Space Apps Challenge
TrepHub in Melbourne Florida is joining Space Apps this year to help NASA solve challenging dilemmas.
This post includes any mentions of the 2014 Space Apps Challenge for Kennedy Space Center. It will be updated as more stories become available.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
- Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery (search for “space apps” to see pictures from the weekend - April 12-13)
NASA Space Apps Challenge (April 14) features KSC site
Sources other than NASA (includes local Brevard County Space Apps)
- TrepHub exploring how to grow food on Mars, other NASA challenges (My News 13, April 13, 2014)
- NASA looks for solutions through Space Apps Challenge (Florida Today, )
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Official Social Media Posts (April 12-13)
Day 2 started quietly as teams focused on finishing their solutions to the space wearables challenge.
Team ARMS (Astronaut Resource Managing System) focused their efforts on getting the details right in their code.
Team SpaceWear started building the prototype of their space helmet using pieces from a cardboard box.
Former Astronaut and current KSC Center Director stopped by during our lunch break to meet with our teams and grab a bite to eat!
As we approached the deadline for presentations the room got noisier as the teams rushed to get their projects finished.
At 2:30pm the teams started presenting their final projects to the panel of judges. The first team up was the ARMS project. They presented their project and showed their wearable prototype working on a Windows laptop, an Android Tablet, and an Android Phone.
The ARMS was followed by the SpaceWear project which had a working prototype of their project built using a cardboard helmet connected to electronic components. The team asked members of the audience to text the prototype helmet and the helmet was able to display the text messages sent to it. The team also discussed the fact that this system could easily be extended to add additional capabilities and remain fairly inexpensive.
The teams also mentioned the fact that since both teams worked on a space wearable they originally planned to collaborate but due to time constraints they were unable to.
After the presentations the judges and the audience had a hard time deciding which project deserved the top prizes (Location Winner and People’s Choice Award).
Everyone got a participation award…
The People’s Choice Award winner was determined by popular vote and the winner of that category was ARMS!
One of the judges discussed the pros and cons of both projects and tips for improvement…
…and the location winner was…
The participants of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) location of the International Space Apps Challenge present the projects they developed over the weekend to our judges panel. Additionally, those who watch remotely will have an opportunity to vote for the KSC People’s Choice project. You will have until 15 minutes after judging ends (approximately 3:15pm EDT) to post on the Hangout your choice of project. Anyone who is present at #SpaceApps #KSC and not a participant or judge will also vote
You can vote for the #KSC location’s Space Apps Challenge People’s Choice project! Watch the two presentations on our Google+ Hangout on Air, scheduled to start at 2:30pm EDT/18:30 GMT and go for about 30-45 minutes. Then 15 minutes after the presentations, we’ll check the Google+ event page for votes (#ARMS & #SpaceWear) and count them towards the People’s Choice.
April 12, 2014 Space Apps Halfway Briefing
It’s been an eventful first day at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) location of the International Space Apps Challenge. We started out the morning with a speed networking event, so participants could get to know one another, talk about why they are interested in Space Apps, what they hope to bring to their projects. Oh yeah, and tell us what is their favorite space movie, while in the Center for Space Education right next to KSC’s Rocket Garden. J
Our mix of electrical engineering students from University of Central Florida, 3D simulation modelers who graduated from International Academy of Design and Technology, and a life cycle systems engineer visiting from Italy bring some great skills to the challenge. Mike Bolger, director of the Ground Systems Development Office, welcomed them and talked about the work we currently have going on at Kennedy Space Center and where we’re headed. We covered the logistical details of our site, then our KSC Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) gave briefings about the three KSC sponsored challenges.
Dr. Raymond Wheeler, a plant physiologist, presented on Growing Food for a Martian Table, an expansion of the 2013 Space Apps Challenge Deployable Greenhouse. Dr. James Mantovani, a physicist in the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations Laboratory, talked about mining asteroids for Asteroid Prospector. David Miranda, a simulation engineer, discussed the emerging technologies in wearables and how NASA is looking for ideas on how to apply them for astronauts on the space station and in ground processing for the Space Wearables: Fashion Designer to Astronauts challenge.
KSC held a Google Hangout with the Melbourne, FL location at TrepHub, a local entrepreneur group. Participants from both sites and NASA employees introduced themselves and when they were interested in working on. We were excited to hear TrepHub teams were working on two of the KSC challenges, #AsteroidProspector & #GrowFoodMartian.
Lunch time doubled timed as challenge team formation, as the participants talked to one another and what solutions they were interested in developing. Two teams formed, both looking at how future astronauts might use #SpaceWearables on asteroids. SpaceWear is focusing on the hardware aspect, while ARMS (Astronaut Resource Managing System) is focusing on the data and software simulation. They decided to work together in the same room, so they could easily share information and ideas between the two teams.
The KSC SMEs gathered again to hold Google Hangouts with participants around the world. Each of the KSC challenges had their own Hangout, with questions coming in via Twitter, the Hackpads, or Q&A feature of the Hangout. The videos are all available on our YouTube playlist of 2014 SpaceAppsKSC Google Hangouts. We enjoyed seeing the pictures and comments of teams working on the projects and their progress so far. The SMEs are looking forward to all the solutions and videos that will be coming in Thursday, April 17 for both global and KSC judging, for a chance at the launch viewing opportunity prize.
The teams spent the afternoon making good use of the white board, checking out resources online, talking with the KSC SMEs, and developing their simulations. Right before dinner, KSC connected with the TrepHub location once more for a stand-up meeting via Google+ Hangout. Each team stated what challenge they were working on, the solution they were developing, their progress so far, what they intended to do before presentations on Sunday afternoon and what obstacles were in their way. Afterwards, participants could then talk to one another about the work and offer suggestions about how to overcome obstacles.
Soon after our joint progress briefing with the TrepHub location, their location lead stopped by with pizza for the KSC participants. Brandon talked with our organizers and explained TrepHub’s work to the participants. We were also joined by an aerospace engineering student from Florida Institute of Technology, who had been at a hybrid rocket competition that day. He caught up on the KSC teams, checked in with the potential of joining the TrepHub #AsteroidProspector team via a Hangout, and decided to join the ARM team.
The teams continued working until 10:30pm, when we celebrated Yuri’s Night (plus load up on snacks). We watched the Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation HI-SEAS Yuri’s Night video, which featured a friend and Kennedy Space Center co-worker of the Space Apps KSC organizers living for 4 months in the Mars habitat simulation in Hawaii who gave a shout out to those of us on the Space Coast. We enjoyed their “Blue Moon” dance in Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) suits.
The teams then moved over to the main room, to watch space movies while they continued to work into the wee hours of the night. “Serenity” and “Space Camp” were enjoyed, the latter of which was set here at Kennedy Space Center.
As this is being written at 3:30am, three participants have gone to bed, two more have been taking short naps between stretches of work, and the other two are still going strong.
We’ll see what time everyone gets up and at ‘em in the morning, once they’ve finally hit the sack. It’s been a wonderful, educational, rewarding, exhausting day, and we still have another 12 hours to go!
It’s been a relatively quiet afternoon and evening, but the past hour has definitely brought some extra excitement. The teams have been deep into working their projects, plugging away.
Around 4:15, the google hangout on space wearables ended.
The teams from both KSC and Trephub gave really brief progress updates to status what they’re doing, where they’re struggling and what they hope to deliver by the end of the day tomorrow.
We had a new comer from FIT, Maxwell, who was trying to talk with the teams from KSC and Trephub to figure out where he could be the most valuable. He was late because he was attending a university students, hybrid rocket competition.
The all important t-shirt… coming to us from Trephub.
Mental break, energy, and light conversation.
Brandon from Trephub talking with our David Miranda about who they are and what they do. Check it out: http://trephub.com/