I realize that many of you in Rochester are brushing up your Chewbacca impressions, but there are at least a few space fans here working on a completely different angle of space exploration. RIT is hosting one of 18 US Space Apps Challenges by @NASA to develop the next big thing:
During the two-day event, participants with a broad variety of skills will work in teams to create open-source solutions for 50 software, hardware and visualization challenges, including robotics, citizen science platforms and applications of remote sensing data. Challenges vary from developing a mobile application that allows observers of a meteor shower to trace the location, color and size of a shooting star to creating a narrative and visualization of NASA data that tells the “why” of space exploration.
The Space Apps website explains that the idea behind the project is to bring together a global community to solve challenges that will enrich our lives globally. The goal is transparency and open data, with projects including a means to synchronize all NASA open source projects to their Github repository, improvements to the open source satellite system ArduSat, a meteor tracker software app so you can watch meteor showers in real-time and even a monitoring application to keep an eye on a once-in-80k-years meteor that may or may not strike Earth in 2026.
The Challenge is a two-day event on April 20th and 21st for those interested in throwing their hats in the ring.