On May 30-31, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) jointly with ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), CSA (Canadian Space Agency) and CNES (National Centre for Space Studies) organized a global virtual hackathon – NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge. The hackathon aimed at addressing issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Noosphere, as a regular local organizer of NASA Space Apps Challenge since 2017, also joined the virtual edition of the hackathon dedicated to the effects of the pandemic.
The NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge gathered over 15,000 participants from 150 countries. Students, scientists, coders, engineers, entrepreneurs, designers and other tech and space enthusiasts from across the globe formed more than 2,000 virtual teams.
The hackathon challenges focused on one of the following topics: learning about the virus and its spread using space-based data; local response/change and solutions; impacts of COVID-19 on the Earth system/Earth system response; economic opportunity, impact, and recovery during and following COVID-19. Participants had only 48 hours to solve one of 12 challenges. Popular choices were: the isolation solution, human factors, purifying the air supply, food for thought, a quiet planet, and the art of it all. Throughout the hackathon, participants could access useful tips from NASA’s experts and local mentors on how to improve their projects and make them even more successful. Local leads, in turn, helped them by facilitating RocketChats and responding to organizational issues.
The youngest participant from Dnipro, 12-year old Kyrylo Blagodarov, created a 3D simulated image to show that space exploration continues even during global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with his own project, Kyrylo also joined an international team for the development of Intergalactic COVID Tracker, a project that aims to anticipate the consequences of possible pandemics in the future. Another participant from Dnipro, who also became a part of an international team, was Anatoly Abaturov, a student at the Faculty of Space Information Technologies at Dnipro Oles Gonchar National University. Together with his team, Anatoly worked on the Food for Thought challenge and faced the issue of food availability during a pandemic. Additionally, prominent Ukrainian scientist and Noosphere advisor Dr. Khanin penned an article in which he shares his position on coronavirus and noospheric thinking.
All the participants have already received the appreciation certificates for being a part of the NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge. At the beginning of August, the NASA panel of judges will select 6 Global Winners who will have the opportunity to visit one of NASA’s space centres. The annual NASA Space Apps Challenge is scheduled to take place on October 2-4, and we invite all space enthusiasts throughout Ukraine to join us for this competition. Follow us on Facebook to get all the up-to-date information.