Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Image Credit: Nasa Space App Challenge via FB
NASA Space Apps Challenge was one of the Space Agency’s initiatives aimed at enhancing the use of technology in the further discovery of space.
About 15,000 professionals in different fields, from coding and engineering to business and storytelling, engaged in tens of competitive challenges. They gathered in 160 spots all over the world to brainstorm for solutions to such issues like famine, lack of resources, smart resources distribution and consumption, species migration mapping, ways of promptly reacting to natural disasters and ice cap melting.
This Challenge is ultimately a hackathon that is held in a form of competition: teams of amateurs compete against each other in finding solutions to some of the issues that NASA’s professionals are currently working on. NASA is dedicated to inviting young and promising talents to contribute to the development of space exploration technology, so the Challenge keeps expanding every year since 2012 and Noosphere Ventures along with managing partner Max Polyakov feel confident that this tendency will continue to grow.
So much data is available nowadays, and it is important to collect and synthesize it in order to make the facts available to ordinary people. Without properly analyzing the data which accumulates, we cannot really know if some fact is true or not. Data management is very close to Polyakov’s pool of interests since he founded EOS Data Analytics, cloud based platform and analytics for business, science and public use.
With the purpose of making data more accessible, NASA Space Apps Challenge initiated collaboration with Davar Ardalan, Director of Storytelling & Engagement at SecondMuse. She is responsible for conveying stories about space and technology, and the ways apps influence people and their everyday lives. Some storytelling means are of great help here, like the three examples below.
One of the challenge teams managed to build a DREAM SPACE SIMULATOR, which helps to imagine yourself in a launching spaceship thanks to the visual illusion of the virtual reality glasses and tangible changes in chair positions. It is not too costly to implement and provides a unique spaceship experience enhanced by vibrations in the chair and sound effects of a spaceship that is taking off.
Another virtual reality related development was provided by SPACEGO, a team from one of the Sri Lankan universities. Making use of the information obtained by NASA satellites which surround the Earth, they developed a VR simulation which allows you to feel as if you were sitting on top of one of the satellites.
The third team on the list, Spacer with their project Diversity, comes from Dnipro, Ukraine. This was the first time the challenge was held in this city, and Association Noosphere initiated by Max Polyakov made it possible. These guys’ idea was to create an actual physical environment that could be used for training or entertainment purposes. It is a room that simulates the working environment of engineers and astronauts in space.
Image Credit: Team Spacer via FB
The team made use of a variety of materials, including 3D printing and augmented reality, to recreate the actual spaceship interior. With the help of this invention, the designers of spaceships will be able to look and walk inside the ship, transfer their models into the virtual reality and test them.
The stories that can be told about these new technologies are shaping the reality of the Earth and its history for years to come. Carl Sagan said in this regard, “We are the Earth’s ambassadors. We are obliged to survive, not just for our own sake, but for the sake of the entire Cosmos, old and vast, the one that bore us”.