NASA, IBM Want Developers to Help Push Boundaries of Space Exploration

IBM this week announced that it will offer its Bluemix platform for the NASA Space App Challenge Virtual Event to help developers build applications that contribute to space exploration and solve global challenges.

IBM will also collaborate with NASA Space Apps Challenge events globally to offer mentorship, guidance and tutorials for challenge participants and will be granting free access to cloud-based services such as Watson analytics and Internet of Things tools through Bluemix.

The NASA Space Apps Challenge is an international three-day code-a-thon where developers, scientists, students, entrepreneurs and educators gather to build applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions to bolster space exploration missions and improve life on Earth. This year, more than 10,000 developers are expected to participate across 136 cities and online through the virtual challenge.

More than 200 NASA data sources – including data sets, services and tools, supplied through real-life NASA missions and technology – will be available for participants to leverage for their applications. Using Bluemix, participants can call on more than 100 different services to build and iterate on solutions with team members around the world.

“The NASA International Space Apps Challenge is at the forefront of innovation, providing real-world examples of how technology can be used to by the best and brightest developers in the world to solve some of the most daunting challenges facing our civilization,” said Sandy Carter, General Manager, Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, IBM. “Using the IBM Cloud, IBM is making it easier for developers to solve NASA challenges by helping them leverage and make sense of data in ways that wouldn’t have been possible even just a few years ago.”

Two projects from each of the 136 cities will have an opportunity to advance to global judging, where a panel of NASA judges will select one winner in each of the five finalist categories, including: Best Mission Concept, Best Use of Hardware, Best Use of Data, Most Inspiring, and Galactic Impact. IBM will award up to 30 awards at local Space Apps events for the most innovative use of Bluemix, with winners receiving up to a year of free access to Bluemix and up to 80 hours of technical support and assistance over six months by senior IBM developers.