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NASA’s Global Science Hackathon Attracts Thousands of Participants

NASA's 2023 Space Apps Challenge

More than 50,000 participants have registered for the 2023 NASA Space Apps Challenge Saturday, Oct. 7, to Sunday, Oct. 8, which is the largest annual worldwide hackathon.

During the two-day event, participants form teams and use software development, engineering, art, storytelling, science, and other skills to solve science-related challenges written by NASA personnel. Teams can be in-person at local events held around the world, or participate virtually.

This year’s theme celebrates the benefits and successes created through sharing open data: Explore Open Science Together.

“NASA has a 60-year legacy of pushing the limits of how science is used to understand our universe,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This year’s Space Apps challenge supports one of our key goals to expand those limits: Spark a culture that ensures and insists our data is easily accessible for everyone. Open science produces research that is transparent, reproducible, and replicable – while increasing diversity and inclusion.”  

The Space Apps Challenge experience provides a platform to network locally and globally, develop new skills, and identify pathways to pursue academic and professional opportunities.

Here is a list of hackathon activities online:

  • Follow activities on Space Apps X, Space Apps Facebook, and Space Apps Instagram accounts. Use #SpaceApps on social posts.
  • 5 p.m. EDT on Friday: “Welcome to Space Apps” kick-off video premieres on the Space Apps YouTube page
  • 2:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday: Instagram Live on the Space Apps account featuring four local events from around the world (Italy, Australia, and two from across the United States)

Once the hackathon concludes, projects are submitted for judging to NASA and other space agency experts. Participants compete for one of 10 global awards. Winners are expected to be announced in January 2024, followed by a winners’ celebration in June.

Thirteen space agencies, as well as community partners and volunteers from around the world, collaborate with NASA to host a successful hackathon. Since its inception in 2021, the challenge has engaged more than 260,000 registrants from nearly 200 countries/territories around the world to build innovative solutions to challenges faced on Earth and in space. There is no cost to participate.

Learn more about NASA’s Space Apps Challenge online: