Check out this new app competition from NASA!

Posted March 29, 2019 by Joshua neubert

In June 2019, NASA will launch a full-stress test of the Orion spacecraft’s Launch Abort System (LAS), called Ascent Abort-2, which will demonstrate the LAS can send Orion and its crew a safe distance from a failing rocket if an emergency arises during ascent to orbit. This flight test is a critical step to demonstrate Orion’s safety as NASA leads the next steps of human exploration into deep space.

NASA’s new App Development Challenge (ADC) – a 2019 pilot project for a longer term competition – provides an opportunity for middle and/or high school students to demonstrate the practice of coding and app development. In this ADC, students work in teams to develop an app that visualizes three minutes of simulated test data in support of the upcoming Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test.

In Round 1 of this challenge, participants will have the opportunity to chat with NASA subject matter experts to learn tips on how to make the app the best it can be. Teams will then post videos of their app designs online for consideration by NASA to use in future missions. In Round 2, teams with favorable submissions advance to present their app in an interview with NASA engineers working on the AA-2 flight test. After this round, NASA will select student team/s for an all-expenses paid trip to a NASA field center in early summer, 2019. The challenge launched on March 13, 2019 and Round 1 participation concludes with video
submissions on May 1, 2019, but teams must register with NASA by April 10th! So if your students like doing super cool things with super cool groups at NASA, make sure to check out this opportunity now!

To participate, student teams must:

  • Be able to process approximately three minutes’ worth of data smoothly.
  • Use any programming language (e.g. Java, Scratch, etc.) and/or operating systems (Windows, Android, etc.) to complete development of an app.
  • Read 21 double-precision floating point numbers (doubles) that represent position and rotation of the rocket’s three main parts from an external source.
  • Display all 21 doubles (although not necessarily simultaneously) in some meaningful form beyond text.
  • Submit a video of original student led work on the completed app.
  • Adhere to you school districts’ policies regarding participation in the challenge.
  • Complete program requirements as identified by the ADC team.

Check out the competition website here:

Or contact NASA to tell them you want to participate at: