Since 2012, NASA”s International Space Apps Challenge is a yearly hackathon that engages people across the globe to find solutions to challenges using NASA’s large array of open data. This is the second challenge NASA has set up this year alone. The first was during the end of May during the middle of the nationwide lockdowns that were happening across the world. About 15,000 hackers joined that event, and you can see who won here. This year, it will take place remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic over a 48-hour spring starting Friday, October 2.

The purpose is for local teams to solve problems we have here on Earth as well as in space. This is done through the creation of games, smartphone and computer apps, videos, and other tools. The challenges categorized under six categories, Observe, Inform, Sustain, Create, Confront, and Connect. As well as a category to create your own challenge.

Some of the challenges include detecting lifeforms and health risks, calculate someone’s carbon footprint, sleep shift scheduling, tools that can fight inequality, wildfire spotter, and more. Many challenges this year are based on the earth observation studies that NASA does with the hope to spread awareness of what all NASA does besides putting objects into space.

Registration is open now and you can see more details here. Teams are based on your location and if there isn’t a team near you, there is a global team that anyone can join. Teams start choosing what challenges they will solve on September 19, so if you plan on participating, now is a good time to register.