NASA News: NASA Launches International Competition to Develop Space Apps

WASHINGTON -- NASA, governments around the world and civil society
organizations will co-host the International Space Apps Challenge on
April 21-22 with events across seven continents and in space.

The apps competition will bring people together to exploit openly
available data collected by space agencies around the world to create
innovative solutions to longstanding global challenges. An initiative
of the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, the challenge will
showcase the impact scientists and citizens can have by working
together to solve challenging problems that affect every person on Earth.

Events will take place in San Francisco; Exeter, U.K.;
Melbourne, Australia; Sao Paulo; Nairobi, Kenya; Jakarta, Indonesia;
Tokyo; McMurdo Station, Antarctica; and the International Space Station.

"We are excited to convene the International Space Apps Challenge as
one of the U.S. commitments to the Open Government Partnership to
explore new ways that open space data can help the planet and further
space exploration," said Deborah Diaz, deputy chief information
officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Open data includes statistics, facts and other information that is
freely available to the public. Teams will compete with others around
the world to use open data to design innovative solutions to a
predetermined series of global challenges. Specific challenges are
being compiled and will soon be available.

"The International Space Apps Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for
individuals around the world to create new ways to use space-derived
data to save lives, transform industries, and connect us more deeply
with our world," said Michael Green, general manager of the
Australian Government's Space Policy Unit. "Space applications
technology underpins critical sectors such as navigation,
communications, emergency management, agriculture and climate science."

Participants will be free to develop mobile apps, software and
hardware, data visualization, and platform solutions that could
contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on earth.

"Open Government is more than simply releasing data. It is a
fundamental shift in the way government interacts with citizens,"
said Chris Vein, deputy U.S. chief technology officer for Government
Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology
Policy. "This apps challenge is an opportunity for governments to
involve citizens in solving some of the most challenging problems
facing our Nation and the world, and the White House is excited that
NASA is at the forefront of this worldwide effort."

The U.S. National Action Plan is part of the Open Government
Partnership, a multilateral initiative to promote transparency,
participation and collaboration between governments and citizens.
President Obama and other heads of state committed to these
principles on the margins of the United Nations in September 2011.

To learn more about the International Space Apps Challenge, visit:



NASA Chief Technologist to Visit Tustin's L'Garde Inc Thursday

WASHINGTON -- NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck will visit L'Garde
Inc., in Tustin, Calif., on Thursday, March 15, at 9 a.m. PDT. Peck's
visit will highlight ways government can partner with small business
to help create the jobs of the future through investment in science
and technology.

L'Garde has received several contracts with NASA on a variety of
projects, including the creation of inflatable structures for radio
frequency antennas and solar arrays. In 1996, L'Garde flew the
Inflatable Antenna Experiment aboard space shuttle flight STS-77.
Most recently, L'Garde was awarded a NASA Technology Demonstration
Mission (TDM) contract to build and fly a large solar sail in 2014.

Solar sails are a possible alternative to conventional fuels for
interplanetary flight. The L'Garde TDM solar sail will demonstrate
the potential of sails for use in future missions and pave the way
toward new space capabilities. L'Garde is partnering with commercial
and government groups for this effort.

Peck and L'Garde's Chief Operating Officer Nathan Barnes will be
available to speak with reporters during a tour of the L'Garde
facility at 15181 Woodlawn Ave., in Tustin, beginning at 9 a.m. There
will be photo opportunities with Peck and Barnes during the tour.

Journalists wanting to attend the event should call Diane Freund at
714-259-0771, ext. 258, or email diane_freund@lgarde.com by 3 p.m.,
Tuesday, March 13, to be badged into the L'Garde facility. For more
information about L'Garde, visit:


For a biography of NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck and information
about his office, visit:



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