Springing up at more than 100 locations, NASA's 2014 maker/hacker event attracts creative tech-heads from all walks of life. It's a party, a design-build session, and a community outreach to bring new original thinking to space challenges.
Mike Caprio, software engineer, community organizer at StartupBus, and co-organizer Space Apps NYC explains:
"I quickly discovered Space Apps (and coincidentally was connected to its NASA organizers by one of the early members of Safecast, Aaron Huslage). I then co-organized the first year of the event in New York City, and our StartupBus members joined in, armed with their expertise in quickly hacking solutions to problems together.
We had set up the Space Apps NYC site in a matter of weeks, and we had only 40 attendees - but those few passionate folks made incredible progress in just 48 hours, building systems that could access and display exoplanet data from Kepler, send text messages to alert people when the ISS was above them, and inform remote rural farmers hundreds of miles out in jungles about crop prices, weather patterns, and planting conditions. A single person - a one woman team - put forth an amazing effort to create a standard font library of weather related symbols for meteorologists (where before they were forced to rely on hand drawn scribbles on paper maps!).
And we were just one locally organized site; in 2012, there were over 20 Space Apps locations all doing the same kind of excellent work. In 2013, the number of locations rocketed to about 80, and this year there are roughly 100 sites participating worldwide. This is a truly historic event: thousands of people all across the world, under the guidance of one of the most technologically elite organizations on the planet, working together to improve life for everyone on Earth and in space."