Participant Frequently Asked Questions
NASA INTERNATIONAL SPACE APPS CHALLENGE
OCTOBER 1-2, 2022
Last updated: October 3, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Important Dates
- Website and Community Engagement
- Participant Registration
- Forming a Project Team
- The Challenges
- Project Submission
- Judging and Awards
What is the NASA International Space Apps Challenge 2022?
On October 1-2, 2022, coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists came together in a global hackathon. Over two days, participants from around the world created in-person and virtual teams to solve challenges using NASA’s open-source data.
What is the purpose of Space Apps?
Space Apps, which started in 2012, has now become the largest annual global hackathon in the world. While NASA provides awards to the top projects (see more below), Space Apps is all about collaboration! Our mission is focused on the following objectives:
- To inspire collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking
- To foster interest in Earth and space science and exploration
- To raise awareness of NASA data around the world
- To encourage growth and diversity in the next generation of scientists, technologists, designers, engineers, and artists.
What is the theme of Space Apps for 2022?
This year’s event theme is Make SPACE, celebrating our motto of “there’s always space for one more." At Space Apps, we strive to eliminate barriers of access to space and science opportunities. Space Apps is for anyone and everyone! You can learn more about this year’s theme and how you can “Make SPACE” on our blog.
Who should participate in Space Apps?
Space Apps is for everyone! This includes those who have never “hacked" before! All passionate problem solvers are encouraged to join - students, experts, engineers, makers, artists, and storytellers. While some of our challenges are technical, others ask you to use your artistic skills, your business acumen, and your historical imaginations!
In other words, you do not need to be a coder or data expert to be a part of Space Apps. In fact, the most diverse teams are often the most successful.
If I still have questions after reading this FAQ, what should I do?
Each year we provide detailed guides to help you navigate your hackathon journey.
You can view our most recent guides, Space Apps logos and fonts on our resources page.
Another great resource is the Space Apps Virtual Bootcamp. Through a series of videos, you will hear from our Space Apps community Navigators (formerly "Ambassadors") past Global Winners, Space Agency Partners, Local Leads, Global Collaborators, and Subject Matter Experts about Space Apps 2022 challenges, tools, resources, and more!
Learn more about the Virtual Bootcamp below.
During the hackathon, members of the Space Apps Global Organizing (GO) Team are available in our chat channels to answer your questions and point you to the correct resources.
Learn more about chat channels below.
If you still have questions, please contact [email protected], and we'll get back to you!
The Space Apps Challenge will start on October 1 at 9:00 a.m. (local time) and end on October 2 at 11:59 p.m. (local time), when project submissions are due.
However, many of the activities start before October 1. Once you sign up for a Space Apps account, start checking your messages from the GO Team to get the most up-to-date information.
Please also look on the location page for your event and talk with your Local Lead to find out about other events and deadlines that are specific to your location.
July 15: Registration opens! Sign up for Space Apps 2022
- Registration will remain open July 15 through October 2, 2022.
- If you are a returning participant, sign in using your username and password.
- Register for a local in-person or virtual event near you (more locations will be added throughout July and August, so check back and update your registration, as desired).
- No event in your city? Register for the Universal Event -- welcoming participants from all over the globe!
Please note that you MUST be registered for one of the locations to participate in Space Apps.
- Connect with your Local Lead to ask questions and find potential teammates. You can find the name and email address of your Local Lead on your location page. Each event will operate somewhat differently depending on the plans of the Local Lead, so please make sure you’re plugged in!
July-August: Connect with the community
- Review the Challenge summaries in mid-August to get a sneak peek of what’s to come.
- Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the latest updates. Share your excitement and hackathon journey using #SpaceApps.
- Check your dashboard messages! Once you register, you will start receiving messages from the GO Team through our online communications portal located on your user dashboard on the website. Check your communications frequently for updates and news about the launching of challenges, Virtual Bootcamp videos, special events, and more.
- Watch our Virtual Bootcamp videos and tutorials about the hackathon to learn valuable insights that will prepare you for your hackathon experience. We even have special guests, including NASA experts, Space Agency partners, Local Leads, and more! All videos will be posted on the Space Apps Virtual Bootcamp webpage and on our YouTube channel.
September: Browse the challenges, join the chat channels, and start forming teams
- Create accounts and register for a location at least one to two weeks before the hackathon.
- Start thinking about which challenge you want to tackle!
- First wave of chat channels will open on Wednesday, September 21! These include:
- Location-specific chat channels
- "Find a Team" chat channels
- Welcome and announcement channels
- When the chat channels open, participants will also be able to create teams or request to join existing teams.
- See the Chat Guide and the Team Formation Guide for more details!
Saturday, October 1 at 9:00 a.m. (local time): Join SMEs in the Challenge chat channels!
- On Saturday, October 1 at 9:00 a.m. (local time), our challenge channels will open. Each challenge will have a dedicated channel.
- Experts from NASA, partner space agencies, and industry will be available in the challenge channels to answer questions about the challenges and data. Don’t miss out! The challenge channels will be open until the hackathon closes on Sunday, October 2 at 11:59 p.m. (local time).
Saturday, October 1 at 9:00 a.m. (local time): The hackathon begins!
- Login to the website to begin hacking!
- Project submission opens at this time. Teams will be able to edit and submit their projects. See the Project Submission Guide for details.
- During the hackathon, we know you’ll be working with your team tirelessly to create your solution. Don’t forget to take breaks, stay hydrated, and balance your hard work with fun!
Sunday, October 2 at 11:59 p.m. (local time): The hackathon ends
- Project submission closes at this time. Make sure that your project is submitted on the website by the deadline!
- Teams must submit their projects in accordance with the location for which your team is registered.*If your team is registered for the Universal Event, your project must be submitted in accordance with the local time of the person who created the team (“Team Lead’).
- Pat yourself on the back for making it through the hackathon! What an achievement!
October - December: Judging and Announcement of Global Winners
- Experts from NASA, partner space agencies, and industry will evaluate the projects and select the winners.
- Your team will be notified if you’ve been selected as finalists or winners. Best of luck!
- See the Judging and Awards Guide for details about the 10 Global Awards and the judging process.
WEBSITE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Can I find Space Apps on social media?
You can find Space Apps on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. We encourage Space Apps participants to engage with us and our global #SpaceApps community! Make sure to follow and use the #SpaceApps hashtag!
What is the “Virtual Bootcamp”?
At the beginning of August, tune into our website and social media accounts to access exclusive content from NASA, Local Leads, Space Apps Navigators, previous Global Winners, and more. Guests will provide relevant workshops and tips for having a successful hackathon experience. This is a wonderful opportunity to tap into the broader Space Apps community. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on notifications to be the first to see our Space Apps 2022 Virtual Bootcamp videos in the lead-up to this year’s event.
What is Space Apps Chat? Can I meet people there?
In the Space Apps Chat, you will be able to connect with other participants and a number of community members who are available to support your journey. This includes:
- The Global Organizing (GO) Team: The team behind Space Apps is dedicated to guiding and supporting you through a successful Space Apps journey! The GO Team’s work is bolstered by a committed Community of individuals:
- Subject Matter Experts: Experts from NASA, partner space agencies, and industry, including many who have developed the challenges and have knowledge about the “Example Resources” provided for each challenge statement.
- Local Leads: Individuals based in cities all around the globe who organize the Space Apps local in-person and virtual events. Visit this page to find a location in a city near you or join the Universal Event.
- Navigators: Individuals supporting you over the course of the event by providing their expertise in Space Apps and NASA data.
Who are the Space Apps Navigators and how can they help during the hackathon?
Space Apps Ambassadors are now…Space Apps NAVIGATORS! Navigators at NASA Space Apps are technical and hackathon experts who can be used as a resource to help participants in their hackathon journey! Navigators are available during the weekend to help answer questions, provide expertise and can help enhance your problem solving experience! Be sure to connect with them Oct 1-2!
Is Space Apps Chat is Free?
Please be aware that Space Apps Chat is completely FREE for everyone to use. If you are prompted or suggested to purchase something while using Discord, the platform that Space Apps Chat is hosted on, please understand that NASA is not responsible for any purchases you make. You do not need to make any monetary purchases to fully experience everything Space Apps Chat has to offer!
When you join Discord for the first time, Discord will start up a tutorial for you. We recommend you skip the tutorial and close prompts that involve any form of monetary interaction. You are not required to purchase anything to fully experience the Space Apps Chat. All the information you need to successfully navigate through Space Apps Chat can be found in the Space Apps Chat Guide.
What chat platform will be used, and what if I’m new to it?
This year’s chat platform will be Discord! When you join Discord for the first time, Discord will start up a tutorial for you. We recommend you skip the tutorial and close prompts that involve any form of monetary interaction. You are not required to purchase anything to fully experience the Space Apps Chat. All the information you need to successfully navigate through Space Apps Chat can be found in the Space Apps Chat Guide.
What should I do if experience or witness discrimination, harassment, or any form of bullying during the hackathon?
Bullying, discrimination, or harassment on any basis will not be tolerated in the Space Apps Challenge. Space Apps is committed to providing a professional and productive forum for all participants to engage in a robust exchange of ideas regarding the challenges. At all times, participants are responsible for maintaining professional decorum and treating each other with respect and dignity. We strive to ensure that Space Apps is a place where every person feels they belong, where they are comfortable being authentic, and where they are empowered to contribute to their fullest.
If you experience or witness discrimination, harassment, or any form of bullying during the Space Apps Challenge, or have any other concerns, please contact your Local Lead and/or the Space Apps Global Organizing (GO) Team at [email protected]. The GO Team will take appropriate action, which may include warning or expelling the offending participant from the event.
Read more about our values at Space Apps here.
When does registration open and close?
Participant registration for Space Apps 2022 is now open and will remain open through the end of the hackathon on October 2, 2022.
How do I register?
Registration for Space Apps requires that you sign up for a Space Apps account AND register for a location. You will not be able to participate in the hackathon until you have registered for a location.
If you do not have a Space Apps account:
- Create one from the Sign Up page and verify your email address.
- Choose one of the locations and select “Register Now” on the location page.
If you do have a Space Apps account:
- Log in to the website using your username and password
- Click “Choose Location” from the user dashboard (see “Dashboard” in your menu bar). Or register through one of the location pages.
NOTE: You can change your location in the user dashboard, after creating an account. You can unregister yourself from the specific location’s page and then re-register on any other page. Or you can select a new location from the user dashboard by selecting “Change Location.”
We encourage all participants to create accounts and register for a location at least one to two weeks before the hackathon in order to join the chat channels and form teams. You’ll begin to build your project submission pages over the course of the two-day event.
How do I choose a location?
We have hundreds of local events to make it easier for participants to find potential teammates who may be located in the same city or time zone, or who may speak the same language. Since one of the goals of Space Apps is to build local communities, we suggest that participants join a location based on their physical location or their networks/connections to a particular location.
Please note, you can change your location at any time from your user dashboard by selecting "change" next to your location.
Teams themselves can be made up of participants from one location or from many locations. You may eventually choose to join a team that is tied to another location because you like their project idea. Or you may choose to invite people from other locations to join your team because you need their skills. During the first round of judging, your project will be evaluated by the local judges at the location for which your team is registered.
Who are the “Local Leads” on my location page?
Local Leads are Space Apps organizers from your location who can answer your questions and help connect you to potential teammates prior to the hackathon. These Local Leads will be your primary point of contact and be there to support your hackathon experience. They will also be available in the chat channels in the week leading up to the hackathon and during the hackathon. Please reach out to them as you prepare!
Is the registration individual or by team?
Participants register as individuals, not as teams. Forming your team is a separate process.
What is the minimum age for participants?
Participants who are under the age of 18 are required to be registered for the event by a parent or legal guardian and must be accompanied during the event at all times by a parent or legal guardian.
FORMING A PROJECT TEAM
Do I need a team?
An individual is allowed to submit a project independently. However, we encourage all attendees to be part of a team. We have found that the most successful solutions come from teams of individuals with diverse skill sets and backgrounds. For example, if participants come from a non-technical background, we encourage them to connect with developers, designers, and people with scientific backgrounds to form a team.
How many members should a team have? Are there limits to the size of my team?
The ideal size for teams is typically 4 to 5 people. The limit for a team is 6 people. If a team gets too big, it can be difficult for the team to focus; if it is too small, the team may not have all the skills/knowledge needed to solve a challenge.
When are teams formed?
During the week prior to the hackathon, you will be able to officially register your team on the Space Apps website. We will send a dashboard message to all registered participants when team formation and chat opens on the website. You may also wait to form your team until the hackathon. You may add members to your team until the hackathon closes on October 2 at 11:59 p.m. (local time).
Does it matter who on my team officially creates the team?
One person from each team is responsible for creating/registering the team. That person is known as the “Team Lead.” Please note that the team will be associated with the location of the Team Lead, and will appear on the location page associated with the Team Lead.
The location with which your team is associated affects two things:
- All projects must be submitted on October 2 at 11:59 p.m. (local time) in accordance with the location for which your team is registered. Please note: *If your team is registered for the Universal Event, your project must be submitted in accordance with the local time of the person who created the team.
- Your team’s project will be evaluated by the local judges at the location for which your team is registered during the first round of judging.
How do I find teammates?
We encourage you to invite your friends and community members along to participate. You can also self-organize into teams before the event with the help of your Local Lead, who may know other registered participants looking for teammates. Find the contact information for your Local Leads on your location page.
The Space Apps Chat platform will open on September 21. We will send a dashboard message to all registered participants when team formation and chat opens on the website.
You will also be able to search for and request to join an existing team! Read the Team Formation Guide to learn more.
Can I remove someone from my team, leave a team, or delete my team entirely?
You cannot remove other members from the team once they have joined. But any user can leave a team by selecting the "Leave Team" option at the bottom of the Team Members tab on the team page.
In order to delete a team entirely, all team members must select the "Leave Team" option on the Team Members tab of the team page.
My team has decided to tackle a different challenge. However, we already created our team page. What should we do?
If you’ve already created a team but have changed your mind about which challenge you want to tackle, you are welcome to pick a new challenge. However, you will not be able to keep the same team page. Your team members must leave the current team and create a new team.
If you are tackling a different challenge, you will be able to reuse the same team information, as long as another team has not already taken that name.
For each hackathon, NASA personnel develop the challenges. These challenges encompass a wide variety of topics and encourage our community of artists, storytellers, coders, scientists, designers, engineers, and others to get creative and develop out-of-this-world solutions! Find a challenge, build a team, and get started hacking!
When and where will the challenges be published?
The full challenge statements and resources become available in mid-September. They can now be viewed HERE.
Can people start working on the challenges as soon as they are published?
We appreciate the enthusiasm of participants who want to start as early as possible, but we ask that participants start the actual work when the hackathon begins on October 1.
Because the hackathon is only held over the course of two days, please note that participants are not expected to have a fully developed project at the end. The purpose, rather, is to inspire innovative ideas and develop solutions in a collaborative, team environment.
What if I have questions about one of the challenges or datasets?
If you have questions about the challenges or resources, Subject Matter Experts from NASA and industry will be available from October 1-2 in our chat channels. They will be ready to engage with your questions! Each challenge will have a dedicated chat channel.
“Space Apps Navigators" will also be in the chat channels. Navigators are experienced participants who will be available to provide support related to the challenges, data, and project submission.
Is it possible for a team to come up with their own project, or is it mandatory to pick one of the challenges?
To be eligible for Global Judging and Global Awards, teams must respond to one of the given challenges. However, you will have the option to "Create your own challenge” and develop a solution of your choosing. While projects in this category are wonderful, please note that they will not be eligible for Global Judging or Global Awards from NASA.
How are projects/solutions submitted?
Every team (whether you are working individually or with teammates) will need to create a project page on spaceappschallenge.org to describe their work. All teams will be answering the same set of questions in relation to their project.
We encourage teams to create their project page as soon as the hackathon begins and to add information as the event progresses. All members of a team must be registered for the hackathon and identified on their team’s project page in order to be eligible for judging and awards.
At what time are project submissions due?
Teams are allowed to submit projects on the website up until October 2 at 11:59pm (local time), in accordance with the location that the team is registered.
*If your team is registered for the Universal Event, your project must be submitted in accordance with the local time of the person who created the team (“Team Lead’).
I see that my local event is having a pitch/feedback/judging session on Sunday, Oct 2, before the official deadline for project submission that you mention above. Can you explain?
Local Leads have the option of doing a pitch/feedback/judging session for their local event on October 2, before the official deadline we mention above. At that time, they may decide to select local winners. We highly encourage you to participate in these sessions!
That said, Local Leads/local judges should NOT be selecting any of the "Global Nominees" -- those teams that go on to "Global Judging" -- at that time. They have been asked to wait until October 3 or after to start selecting Global Nominees (so that they can be sure to judge all of the final projects that were submitted by the official deadline).
If you would like further guidance or clarity, please check with your Local Lead first. If you have additional questions after that, please email [email protected] or connect with a member of the Space Apps Global Organizing (GO) Team in Space Apps Chat.
Please see the Space Apps 2022 Judging and Awards Guide for more information on the judging process.
What is expected in my project submission?
All of the project submission requirements are outlined in the Project Submission Guide.
At minimum, your project must respond to one of the official Space Apps 2022 challenge statements and clearly show how the data resources provided with the challenge were used in your project.
All projects must be submitted on the website by 11:59 PM on October 2 (local time), in accordance with the location for which your team is registered. *If your team is registered for the Universal Event, your project must be submitted in accordance with the local time of the person who created the team (“Team Lead’).
Do I need to cite my sources?
Yes. You are required to cite all sources used in your project, including official sources that are listed on your challenge page and any other sources you decide to incorporate, including open-source data.
Do I have to use code in my project?
Code is not required for any given challenge. Whether you write code for your project may depend on both what the challenge is asking you to do and what you are actually able to accomplish in a 2-day period.
The key: if you do make something that uses code, your team must share the code.
RECOGNITION, JUDGING, AND AWARDS
For details, please see the Judging and Awards Guide on the Space Apps resources page.
Will participants get certificates?
Regardless of whether your team wins an award, participants who are on a registered team and submit a project by the end of the hackathon (October 2, 11:59 PM, local time) will receive a certificate recognizing their participation.
Space Apps 2022 Awards
While the main purpose of the hackathon is to encourage collaboration and cooperation, Space Apps does recognize exceptional projects each year.
NASA offers 10 Global Awards:
- Best Use of Science: The solution that makes the best and most valid use of science and/or the scientific method.
- Best Use of Data: The solution that best makes space data accessible, or leverages it to a unique application.
- Best Use of Technology: The solution that exemplifies the most innovative use of technology.
- Galactic Impact: The solution with the most potential to improve life on Earth or in the universe.
- Best Mission Concept: The solution with the most plausible concept and design.
- Most Inspirational: The solution that captures our hearts.
- Best Storytelling Award: The solution that most creatively communicates the potential of open data through the art of storytelling.
- Global Connection Award: The solution that best connects people around the world through technology.
- Art & Technology Award: The solution that most effectively combines technical and creative skills.
- Local Impact Award: The solution that demonstrates the greatest potential for local impact.
Please note that NASA reserves the right to change the award categories at any time.
Many local events will also be selecting local winners. Please contact your Local Lead for details.
What will be the award for Space Apps 2022 winners?
Once travel is deemed safe, winning teams will receive an invitation to the Winners Trip, which could potentially include viewing a spacecraft launch at a NASA facility.
Each winning team member will be allowed to invite a guest of their choice. The Local Lead associated with each winning team, and a guest of their choice, will also receive an invitation. All invited guests will be responsible for arranging and financing their own travel, visas, meals, incidental expenses, and accommodation.
Please also note that winners’ and guests’ invitations and access to NASA facilities are subject to NASA security and United States regulatory screening and clearance.
The details of the Winners’ Trip are subject to change based on the evolving dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, since there are many factors, including weather, that determine the successful launch of a rocket on schedule, NASA cannot guarantee that travelers will actually see a launch.