NASA's Space Apps hackathon returns to Waterloo


SkyWatch has announced that the NASA International Space Apps Challenge hackathon is returning to Waterloo and will run from 22-24 April.

The hackathon will see Waterloo's top citizen scientists, developers, app makers, entrepreneurs and engineers work continuously for 48 hours to address challenges designed by NASA. Waterloo is one of 170 cities hosting their own Space Apps hackathons in the same weekend, with an estimated participation of 15,000 people globally. In 2014, 14,000 participants took part in 138 cities.

The Waterloo hackathon will see two winning solutions that will compete with winners from other locations worldwide, to be judged by the NASA International Space Apps Challenge team. SkyWatch is the host for 2016 and has previously won the challenge in 2014. Since winning the international challenge, SkyWatch has become a key space startup in Waterloo.

The Waterloo hackathon will include the unveiling of Canada's first space startup-focused accelerator. More details will be revealed at the unveiling event on 24 April. For 2016, the participants will choose from six categories: Journey to Mars, Earth, Technology, Solar System, Space Station and Aeronautics. Teams will utilize NASA's celestial data and guidance from mentors to develop practical solutions.

James Slifierz, CEO, SkyWatch, said: "NASA’s Space Apps Challenge is the most unique hackathon on Earth. The event allows a range of skilled participants the opportunity to build something amazing that can be used in the real world, or space, using NASA tools and data. To add to the excitement, for the first time ever in Canada, participants could receive support for their ideas outside of the hackathon and possibly launch their own space startup."

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