Now in its sixth annual edition, the event invites developers, engineers, technologists, designers and anyone with a sensibility for space to think big and find solutions for the issues Earth faces.
“To infinity and beyond,” is what they say. For NASA, though, every exploration of infinity, every trek to the beyond starts with something much more terrestrial. In Egypt, that’s coming in the form of the sixth annual edition of the NASA Space Apps Challenge, a hackathon that invites the country’s brightest minds to find solutions to the increasing challenges we face on Earth and in the great dark abyss of space.
Taking place this year October 2nd-4th, the hackathon is backed by the US Embassy in Cairo and the American University in Cairo, and forms part of the International Space Apps Challenge launched by NASA's Earth Science division. Considered the largest of its kind on the planet, the hackathon invites all comers - developers, engineers, technologists, designers, anyone - to use its vast open source data to conjure up innovative, tech-powered solutions.
Egypt has proven to be a particularly fruitful source for NASA, playing host to the hackathon since 2015. So much so, in fact, that the Space Apps Cairo team that organises the event was given a special award in 2016 after Egypt produced the largest number of registered applicants globally. Beyond the thrill of the event itself, it has opened up doors for many of its applicants, not least the winning 2019 team, which was rewarded with a unique three-day space camp at the the US Space & Rocket Center in Alabama. It’s unclear what might await this year’s winners, but any applicants-to-be will find all the motivation they need through a special message sent to the Space Apps Cairo team from one Farouk El Baz.
“Innovation is part of the youth’s characteristics,” the celebrated Egyptian-American space scientist, geologist and NASA stalwart said. “I encourage you all to delve into the topics of the International Space Apps, provide ideas, change perceptions and keep on trying to think about space exploration and how we can improve life on Earth in the future.”
For more information on the event and how to apply, visit SpaceAppsCairo.com.