NASA is crowdsourcing new technologies to hunt down asteroids, track astronauts’ nutrition, send emails to the International Space Station, and discover new moons of Saturn.
The space agency has leveraged Topcoder’s community of 630,000 data scientists, developers, and designers to build new solutions to help solve complex problems NASA faces.
Topcoder’s partnership with the Harvard NASA Tournament Lab has yielded thousands of submissions from more than 20 countries.
Asteroid Data Hunter: NASA kicked off its Asteroid Data Hunter contest in March, offering $35,000 in awards to citizen scientists who can develop algorithms to identify asteroids.
NASA is still testing the prototype, but it’s due to take flight to the International Space Station next spring.
The topcoder community has spent the past year designing and implementing NASA’s open-source Disruption Tolerant Networking Protocol, which converts data, such as email, to bundles, instead of packages, for more reliable and secure transmission.
NASA’s not the only governmental agency to use topcoder’s community for new tech solutions.