In 2007, a small group of people began an intentional, collaborative experiment in open, transparent, and direct communication about your space program. Our goal was to enable your direct participation in exploring and contributing to NASA’s mission.

Many of us have since begun new adventures. This site will remain as an archive of the accomplishments of the openNASA experiment.

Kristen Painting

We have a problem here at the International Space Station home base: there are so many locations signed up for this event that our homepage map is getting cluttered!  OK, so I admit that this is not a bad problem to have at all.  In fact, we’re incredibly excited about how much this event has grown since the original press release of the Apps Challenge on March 9, 2012.  What we can’t demonstrate very well on our map is all of our virtual participants, so that’s what I want to write about here today.

Thank you for participating in the International Space Apps Challenge from your personal location!  We are excited about the collaboration of individuals around the world on this event; you are making the Apps Challenge community even more unique and even more spread out across borders.  Make sure when you start working on the weekend of the Apps Challenge to check back in to the Virtual Participation page to kick off your experience with our personal welcome message going to all participants in every location.

What You Can Do
As a virtual participant we want you to be involved just as if you were at any other location.  Seek out teams of other virtual participants, seek out teams at physical locations, make your own team, work on your own - whatever works best for you!  Here are some thoughts to get you started on however you want to connect and create amazing solutions to the challenges.

How You Can Organize
Ahead of Time
Create teams to work together on challenges.  You can find information on who is planning to work on challenges just by checking out the challenge page.  Anyone who follows the challenge will have their avatar on the page.  See someone who you think you’d work well with?  Use the Etherpad (connected with each challenge) to indicate your skills and willingness to help remotely, and use the Pad’s chat feature to send messages to others and start collaborating!

During the challenge continue to use the Pad or your favorite chat client to connect to anyone with whom you’ve joined forces.  Yep, it’s that easy.  If you have a better way to connect that you think others would be interested in just leave a note on this page’s Pad.  Check back there frequently to keep in touch with other virtual participants and the organizing team on logistics of being a virtual participant.

How You Can Connect
We’re hoping you will find each set of Pad notes and Pad chats useful for both the challenges and for your location.  There are still other ways to connect as well.  Watch all of the video streams from the global locations on our UStream Superchannel for the event.  Watch our twitter feed @intlspaceapps (#spaceapps).

How You Produce and Submit Your Work
We want you to think of yourself as just another participant at any other location - so we have it set up that your solutions will end up in the same location as theirs.  If you are working virtually just fill in your “location” for judging as “virtual”.  We are working hard to get a panel to judge all virtual submissions.  If you worked with a team that had people in one of the locations just choose where you want the solution to be judged and have the person in that location post the solution for your whole team.

Thank you all again for supporting the International Space Apps Challenge from your location!  We may not have your city marked on our map but we are so excited that you are participating and bringing forward all of your skills.

Image credit to smithco’s photostream