The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), in collaboration with USA’s central space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nas), on Monday announced the official dates of the 11th Nasa Space Apps Challenge hackathon. The event will be held in India on October 1 and 2, and will enable students and enthusiasts in the space sector to develop applications and use cases of Earth observation data, that is today available to various parties through privately and centrally operated satellite information.
An official statement from Isro on the hackathon said, “The goal of the event is to raise awareness about Nasa and Isro’s open data, foster interest in earth and space science technology, and encourage and nurture the interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the young generation.”
“Isro is inviting coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists to participate in the 11th annual hackathon. During the two-day hackathon, participants from around the world will create teams and use Earth observation data to develop solutions to issues our world is facing,” the statement further added.
The move comes as India builds up its private space ecosystem to take a larger share of the global private space missions and exploration industry.
Earlier this month, the Indian government inaugurated the headquarters of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe). The latter is a government undertaking company that will seek to facilitate private space startups in India to collaborate with Isro. These collaborations will also enable private space entities in India to take advantage of Isro’s available facilities and expertise in various space missions, including the use of available satellite and space data to create applications – or develop indigenously built satellites for a wide range of purposes.
IN-SPACe is different from New Space India Limited (NSIL) – the public sector undertaking (PSU) that has been established to attract commercial space mission contracts to be executed by Isro.
India also presently awaits the unveiling of the government’s official space policy, which will detail the participation of private companies in space missions in India. Industry experts have previously told Mint that the upcoming space policy could detail the roles that private entities may play alongside Isro in India’s upcoming space missions – which also includes the manned space mission, Gaganyaan.