Cyberjaya gets in on space exploration
By Digital News Asia May 6, 2016
- Malaysian talents take part in NASA’s Space App Challenge
- Winners were VAR Space Onboard and Team MarsLife
MORE than 100 scientific talents and enthusiasts took part in the recent Malaysian leg of the global code-a-thon organised annually by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA’s Space App Challenge was first introduced last year, in cooperation with IBM Corp, to collaboratively develop solutions that will contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.
The Malaysian event was held in Cyberjaya, where over the course of the 48-hour event, participants used more than 200 datasets, services and tools from NASA to ‘hack’ their way through 26 challenges across six mission categories: Aeronautics, Earth, International Space Station, Space Technology, Journey to Mars, Solar System and Beyond.
The event was organised by Unlock Design International Sdn Bhd. It was also supported by Telekom Malaysia, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre, Cradle Fund, the National Space Agency of Malaysia, and Point College Malaysia.
Anything built at the Malaysian app challenge will be free for any global space agency to access, according to Cyberview Sdn Bhd, which manages the city of Cyberjaya and which was also a supporting partner and main sponsor for the local event.
“Even though the title might prompt you to think that the Space App Challenge is just about software applications, the competition is in fact much more than that – one of the big goals is to help the world out with some of the problems we are facing,” Unlock Design International managing director Shozo Yamaguchi.
Projects awarded at last year’s challenge include an easy and user-friendly application designed to help farmers monitor their property; a mobile robot platform capable of extracting data from nearby objects using on-board sensors present in an Android smartphone; and a crowdsourcing platform that provides real-time updates on natural hazards and catastrophes occurring around the world.
For the Malaysian event, the first prize winner was VAR Space Onboard, a virtual platform that simulates the experience of observing a rocket launch from a few miles away.
The second prize winner was Team MarsLife, which developed a game to simulate Martian survival based on Facebook’s Chatbot.
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