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International Space Apps Challenge 2014 is in the town!!!

SERVIR Himalaya, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and YoungInnovations have once again partnered to organize International Space Apps Challenge Kathmandu 2014 on April 12-13, 2014 at Trade Tower Business Centre, Thapathali, Kathmandu.

International Space Apps Challenge is a two day Hackathon where teams of technologist, scientists, designers, artist, educators, entrepreneurs, developers and students across the globe collaborate and engage with publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenge. It is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) incubator innovation program that embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open source solutions to address global needs applicable to both lives on Earth as well as on Space.

Similar to 2012 and 2013, there are more than 60 challenges organized in five different thematic areas like technology in space, human spaceflight, asteroids, earth watch and robotics. Participants chooses the challenges from the pool and provide their innovative solutions during the hackathon. The winning team will be awarded with cash prize of Rs. 30,000, the first runner up with cash prize of Rs. 20,000 and the second runner up with cash prize of Rs. 10,000.

In this context, we are immensely happy to invite you — developers, engineers, designers and technologists — to take part in it and showcase your talent and skill by developing meaningful solutions to the various issues of Earth and Space. Collaborate with local and international participants. This is a challenge that you can’t afford to miss!!!

Take part as an individual (be part of a team later) or come as a team. Register yourself (Registration is mandatory for each individual). For registration and more information, please visit If you have any problem with registration and if you need other information, please contact us:

Prawesh Shrestha
Project Manager,
YoungInnovations Pvt. Ltd.
Ph: 01 - 5008737

Photos and Photos!


Judge Anja Møller Rasmussen questioning the participants.



Anil Karki, Arun Aryal, Dipak Pradhan and Roshan Bhatta’s 1st Runner Up all terrain robot!



Judge Talk: Regional Database Initiative Coordinator Birendra Bajracharya, Knowledge Management and Communication Specialist Sushil Raj Pandey and GIS/DSS Development Specialist Sudip Pradhan analyzing the projects.


Gaurub Pandey, CEO of Bajra Technologies, explains how to use his team’s Planetary Photojournal!



Judges Birendra Bajracharya, Sudip Pradhan and Stacy Whittle taking their final notes on the verdict!

Day 2 : Spaceappsktm

As the room heated up nearing the presentation session, participants had butterflies fluttering in their stomach. The hustle and bustle in the venue was loudly visible. The ‘Space apps’ rap video was being played to gather the momentum and soothe the participants. The panel of the judges were ready. The presentation began with Team Apollo who created, Raspberrypi powered arduino. The team when asked ‘How do you explain the project to kids’ replied it would be the programming to interact with the solar activities. Next was Team Atlantis, Discovering Earth, with the theme living each day as earth day. The team worked these 48 hours to help the relevant stakeholders get information about the environmental data. It is the one place for the data which is disturbed in hundreds of locations within the internet.Also, if the team had all all the money in the world and have only this particular app to work on their entire life,they would buy books with the money and keep the information from the book into the website. Then it was team Deep impact, who worked on green earth who worked on the simple visualization for easy understanding of the data. They also presented an analysis of the data that they found. They used color shades to represent the locations with the levels of renewable resources. Team deepspace-2 who worked on Earth anomaly detection and visualization used the spatio-temporal data and tried to find a meaningful insight from that data. Their visualization included mapping temperature over the geographical areas. Then came team Galileo who built a dedicated mobile app for weather. What additional feature that was present in their app and not in other weather app is the comparison feature that would compare the weather of various locations.

The following teams had their heart beats rise; their nervous yet content faces said it all. Team Lunar orbiter worked on tour on the moon, created a webapps wherein users can take an interactive tour of the moon. Their app could be developed into a learning apps for kids and also raise awareness to the public about the locations in the moon. Team Mars Odyssey build a prototype of a lego rover. According to the team leader, kids today are becoming more technologically, they would play with wires, boards and pins rather than the available toys. Team Mercury and Team Genesis had semi finished products. Team phoenix, created a model curiosity for earth with live video streaming. Theirs was an all terrain robot. Their primary objective was to create awareness about the curiosity in mars. Followed by Team pioneer who created water contamination tracking system and named it pioneerSeWa. Team Project constellation created Pisat whose project was specifically for space engineers to measure space temperature. Team Ranger, the one man team created a mobile app names Spot your station. The app provides the detail of the satellite revolving the earth. It also tracks the satellite path in a geographical map. Then team skylabs worked on Revitalise the PDS fetching pictures of the Universe and displaying them. The final presentation by team Viking on Sano curiosity meaning small curiosity was a semi finished product as their hardware crashed. They plan to enhance it with a life sensing detector.

While the scores were being calculated, participants shared their experience. It was certainly one of a kind of experience with people from various sectors working together to build prototypes of curiosity, visualizing the environment data and creating apps that even the general public could use. During the award announcement, the venue got filled with cheers and claps. The second runner up was team Deepspace-2 who worked on Earth anomaly detection and visualization. First runner up was team Phoenix who created the all terrain curiosity. The winner of NASA International space apps challenge Kathmandu Hackathon was team Mars Odyssey who worked on the Lego Rovers.

Congratulations to the winners, all the participants as well as the organizers. Lets pat our backs; we have together made this happen.


Winners of NASA International Space Apps Challenge, Kathmandu: Mars Odyssey! 

Mr. Binayak Dhakal, Mr. Roshan Bhatta and Mr. Sakar Pudaisini’s Karkhana Rover robot is aimed at children from ages 9-11 about baby steps in programming.



1st Runner Up: Phoenix: Mr. Roshan Bhatta, Mr. Dipak Pradhan, Mr. Arun Aryal and Mr. Anil Karki brought Curiosity at Home down to the valley with their all terrain robot with automatic and controlled data transfer system. The robot can be used in other planets to record video and stream live on the internet.



2nd Runner Up: Deep Space 2: Mr. Rabindra Kharel and Mr. Deerghayu Shrestha’s Earth Anomaly Detection presents friendly visualizations to detect anomalous geographical locations for the We Love Data challenge. Practical usages of this application can help people avoid natural disasters by detecting them beforehand.


Participants, facilitators, sponsors, the whole team!


Results are in!Bagging the first prize of Rs. 30,000 are Mars Odyssey with Mr. Binayak DhakalMr. Roshan Bhatta and Mr. Sakar PudaisiniSolving the challenge Lego Rovers, their project is an educational robot aimed at children from ages 9-11 about the baby steps in programming. Read more about Karkhana Rover in this link to be impressed by their fantastic methods of downsizing a seemingly complex machine to a child’s toy.

Next up are 1st Runner Up team Phoenix consisting Mr. Roshan BhattaMr. Dipak Pradhan, Mr. Arun Aryal and Mr. Anil Karki. They’ve brought the Curiosity at Home down to the valley with their all terrain robot with automatic and controlled data transfer system. The robot can be used in other planets (well, Mars for now) to record video and stream live on the internet. Read all about the genius behind this Curiosity in Kathmandu Nepal.

Our 2nd Runner Up team is Deep Space 2 with solid collaboration between members Mr. Rabindra Kharel and Mr. Deerghayu Shrestha in making user friendly visualizations to detect anomalous geographical locations for the We Love Data challenge. Practical usages of this application can help people avoid natural disasters by detecting them beforehand: read about it from the developers at their NASA Space Challenge project website: Earth Anomaly Detection.

Head of MENRIS, ICIMOD, Basanta Shrestha giving an interview at the NASA Space Apps Challenge 2013 Kathmandu.

Photo Credits: Nabin Baral/ICIMOD
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Head of MENRIS, ICIMOD, Basanta Shrestha giving an interview at the NASA Space Apps Challenge 2013 Kathmandu.

Photo Credits: Nabin Baral/ICIMOD

The first day of Hackathon ends or the hacking continues??

Today wasn’t a normal day; people were up this early Saturday morning keenly looking forward to the start of the NASA International Space Apps Challenge Hackathon in Kathmandu, Nepal. At 8:00 AM, the participants seemed enthusiastic with the level of enthusiasm rising as team formation and pitching session began. The opening comments from Mr Bibhusan Bista, Mr Basanta Shrestha, and Miss Stacy Whittle and the global kick-up video worked magic adding on to the motivation that the participants had carried. The work began immediately. There were a total of 17 teams and 60 participants working together. Some teams hope to bag the first prize and others are concentrated more on doing their best.

All teams were very excited to participate in NASA’s first hackathon in Nepal. Many participants were participating in their first hackathons and were glad to gain experience in the new environment where many people work in teams under the same roof. Team Deepspace-2 worked on the challenge ‘We Love Data’ and were happy to be working with friends and spending their weekend in a unique way. Team Viking who accepted the NASA challenge of ‘Curiosity at Home’, was more in the mood of fun and was not letting the competition get to them. Karkhana Rover who were working on Lego Rovers, was very prepared with its targets set for each days of the Hackathon. The team members said they were learning new things from everyone around them. Their only concern was the hall arrangement. Having been to the previous hackathon which was conducted in separate rooms with only few teams in one room, they preferred that arrangement better. Team Genesis seemed to be a very busy hard working team, working on ‘Smart cities, Smart Climate’. When asked ‘How is the Hackathon?’ a member from Team Apollo responded “It’s like a Hackathon”. Amid the mixture of stress of the competition and fun of working together, wasn’t that a witty reply? Well thats is exactly how the Hackathon at Kathmandu is going on. The zeal hadn’t lowered even after working continuously for nine hours. 

Project Constellation was probably the most merry making. Working on ‘Ardusat’ and participting on Hackathon was going better than they had thought. Team Phoenix looked relaxed keeping a strange model  on their table. They were confident that five more hours would suffice to finish their project. Since this NASA Space Apps Challenge is a global event, they wished it would have been better if it was more interactive such that they would know how the participants working on the same challenge at other countries were doing. Also, they were making a model of curiosity and hence were expecting a mechanical workshop in the hackathon venue. Likewise, Lunar Orbiter worked on the challenge, ‘Tour of the Moon’ and were grasping the new experiences of success and frustrations. Voyager worked on ‘Renewable Energy Explorer’ and Ranger on ‘Spot the Station’ were one man teams. Both the participants did not have any problem working alone in the challenge, and seemed rather to prefer their work speed. Anish Shrestha from Ranger said he would have preferred it if he could stay over the night hacking in the same venue. 

Team Skylabs, accepted the challenge of ‘Revitalize the PDS’, showed the concern whether their product would be followed-up in the future after the Hackathon ends. The organizers International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and YoungInnovations assure that they would definitely follow-up with the participants even after the hackathon. The event so far met its expectations and was up to its target with around  sixty percent work completed on the first day. Pioneer, was handling the challenge ‘Predicting Water Contamination’ and Team Galileo, not inventing the telescope but working on ‘Smart cities, smart climate’ was enjoying every bit of the event. The second team working on Renewable Energy Explorer wanted to give their best for these two days and not stay worried about the competition. 

Despite this being a competition, most people had high spirit trying to enjoy and learn. Team LandSat, working on ‘earth from space’ and the team Mercury working on ‘the blue marble’ felt there were more subject expertise in their teams and wanted programmers. They could not find programmers who could link their tasks, yet they were trying to work do things on their own burrowing help from the people around. Finally, team Atlantis working on the ‘Earth Day Challenge’, wished if there were mentors for them who would guide in their subject. They were also concerned about not getting replies to their queries in the spaceappschallenge website and not getting data. They were also trying to make their time fruitful looking for data and visualizing it.

Overall, the day did not seem long to the partipants even when the end of the first day of Hackathon neared. There were few happy faces and few tensed. Some had started packing up for the day while some said the hacking continues.

Day One: NASA Space Apps Challenge, Kathmandu!

Ten… nine… eight… seven… six… five… four… three… two… ONE! And off we go: the NASA Space Apps Challenge Hackathon launched this morning at 8:00 PM here at the United World Trading Center (UWTC) Tripureshwor, Kathmandu. Representatives from local hosts ICIMOD and YoungInnovations welcomed the participants stressing on how the prototypes they will be developing can later mature into solutions that can cater to real problems in various sectors. Stacy Whittle representing SERVIR wished good luck and gave regards from international hosts NASA and USAID. After a video kick off of the event, facilitators from YoungInnovations provided the stage for all teams to give one-minute introductions to their projects and recruit new members.

For now, these are the teams and their topics:

Deep Space 2

Team Members (2): Mr. Rabindra Kharel and Mr. Deerghayu Shrestha

Project: Earth Anomaly Detection - Visualization

Challenge: We Love Data


Team Members (3): Mr. Gaurub Pandey, Mr. Neeraj Chakradhar and Mr. Samesh Swongamikha

Project: Planetary Photojournal

Challenge: Revitalize the PDS


Team Members (1): Mr. Bhasker Bhattarai

Project: iFindEnergy

Challenge: Renewable Energy Explorer

Lunar Orbiter

Team Members (2): Ms. Smrita Pokharel and Ms. Srija Pokharel

Project: On the Moon

Challenge: Tour of the Moon


Team Members (4): Mr. Roshan Bhatta, Mr. Dipak Pradhan, Mr. Arun Aryal and Mr. Anil Karki

Project: Curiosity in Kathmandu Nepal

Challenge: Curiosity at Home


Team Members (4): Mr. Biplov Bhandari, Mr. Kamal Shahi, Mr. Niroj Panta and Mr. Amrit Karmacharya

Project: Web Mapping of Emergency Service Provider Inside Ring Road, Kathmandu 

Challenge: Earth From Space


Team Members (5): Mr. Kshitiz Khanal, Mr. Bigyan Chapagain, Mr. Krishna Kumar Shrestha, Mr. Anup Bista and Mr. Binod Dhakal

Project: Sano Curiosity

Challenge: Curiosity at Home

Project Constellation

Team Members (4): Mr. James Singh, Ms. Anu Rajak, Mr. Mandira Thapa and Ms. Shivani Chhetri

Project: PiSat

Challenge: Ardusat

Mars Odyssey

Team Members (3): Mr. Binayak Dhakal, Mr. Roshan Bhatta and Mr. Sakar Pudaisini 

Project: Karkhana Rover

Challenge: Lego Rovers


Team Members (5): Mr. Dipesh Khanal, Ms. Akriti Shrestha, Ms. Joshana Shakya, Ms. Monalisha Dhimal and Ms. Rashmi Bajracharya

Project: City Sense

Challenge: Smart Cities, Smart Climate


Team Members (5): Mr. Ajay Maharjan, Mr. Manish Shrestha, Ms. Binisha ShresthaMs. Nhasala Joshi and Ms. Sajana Maharjan

Project: Apollo

Challenge: ArduSat


Team Members (5): Mr. Anil Maharjan, Mr. Pushpan Kumar G. C., Mr. Hari Sapkota, Mr. Pradeep Chettri and Mr. Pradip Gotame

Project: Smart Cities, Smart Climate

Challenge: Smart Cities, Smart Climate

Deep Impact

Team Members (3): Mr. Deepak Adhikari, Mr. Ayush Maharjan and Mr. Kshitiz Tiwari

Project: Green Earth

Challenge: Renewable Energy Explorer


Team Members (5): Mr. Janardan Mainali, Ms. Kamana Jha, Mr. Mohan Singh Rana Magar, Mr. Sailendra Mangranti and Mr. Rabin Shakya

Project: Predicting Water Contamination

Challenge: Predicting Water Contamination


Team Members (1): Mr. Anish Shrestha

Project: Spot Your Station

Challenge: Spot The Station


Team Members (5): Ms. Eliza ShresthaMr. Ashutosh BhandariMs. Forencia Matina TuladharMr. Laxmi Thapa and Mr. Suman Ghimire

Project: PicStoria

Challenge: The Blue Marble


Team Members (4): Mr. Jagat Man Mulguthi, Mr. Rabindra Acharya, Mr. Shameer Kumar Pradhan and Mr. Vishwadeep Ghimire

Project: Earth Day

Challenge: Earth Day Challenge

Virtual Participation in NASA International spaceapps challenge

You don’t have to be at a local event to participate in Space Apps… you just need a computer, an Internet connection and a desire to collaborate with others to build applications. This intense 48 hour weekend is for developers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs – anyone who is a space and science enthusiast. You will connect online with global dispatch to find a team that needs your specific skills and expertise to help solve a challenge. All from the comfort of your own home.
Therefore if you cannot be here in Kathmandu for the Hackathon you can participate virtually. There is a separate registration for virtual participation.
Register here for virtual participation.

Calling all software developers, engineers, designers and technologists for the Kathmandu Hackathon!

In Nepal, we grew up listening to the mythical stories of Chandra Dev, Surya Dev, Sapta Rishi, and Dhurba Tara. As youth, we were curious about the Earth, moon, sun, and the stars, often looking into the night sky and wondering what exists beyond the constellations.

Through NASA’s space exploration program, many questions about space and the universe have been answered. NASA research and applications have also helped us realize the benefits of using space technology for earth observation – including in responding to disaster, understanding climate change, monitoring agriculture, tracking air pollution, and conserving biodiversity. Examples of this can be seen on the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Mountain GeoPortal.

Now, through NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, people from all over the world have been given a chance to learn more about space technology and earth observation applications and use their knowledge and skills to develop meaningful solutions to help to address critical global challenges.

This year, we are happy to announce that the people of Nepal have an opportunity to participate in this challenge. Working with experts from ICIMOD to learn more about the issues facing the region, participants will use their skills and knowledge to develop solutions to pressing problems, especially those that are affecting communities in the Himalayas. This is an opportunity you can’t ignore and challenge you can’t afford to miss!

We are calling on the best and the brightest software developers, engineers, designers and technologists from Nepal to join us in responding to real-world problems with solutions than can have a lasting impact.



What is the International Space Apps Challenge?

The International Space Apps Challenge is an international hackathon with events on all seven continents and in space that will take place over a 48-hour period from 20 to 21 April.

The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing open-source solutions to global challenges.

 What is a hackathon?

Hackathons are technology development marathons that draw on the talents and initiative of bright-minded developers, engineers, technologists, designers, and anyone with a desire to make an immediate impact on the world. They are focused on developing real solutions to global challenges by the end of the event.


The first International Space Apps Challenge was held in April 2012 in 25 cities around the world. The event brought together over 2,000 participants (age 16–70) to address 71 featured challenges, which are focused on contributing to space exploration missions and helping to improve life on Earth. More than 100 unique open-source solutions were developed in less than 48 hours.

To view the results, visit


Because of the event’s success in 2012, the International Space Apps Challenge has been made an annual event. Our vision is that the International Space Apps Challenge will continue to give people everywhere an unprecedented opportunity to developed meaningful solutions to help address critical needs applicable to both space exploration and improving lives on Earth.

Global Event Locations

In 2012, the challenge took place in 25 cities in 17 countries on all seven continents – from San Francisco to Nairobi. We anticipate this year’s event to be even bigger, with up to 70 official locations, including one in Kathmandu, as well as virtual participation from around the globe.

Get Involved

The only true requirement for participating in the event is a passion for making a difference and getting involved. Anyone can participate in the International Space Apps Challenge, which requires individuals with a broad range of skills. Participants could include engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, and entrepreneurs – anyone who has a passion for changing the world and is willing to devote two days to this exciting event.

About the Kathmandu Hackathon 

What is the enrollment cost?


Who are the organizers in Nepal?

 ICIMOD and YoungInnovations Pvt. Ltd

What is the date of the hackathon?

20–21 April 2013

What is the deadline to register?

15 April 2013

Where will the Kathmandu hackathon be held?

Direction Exhibition and Convention Center Hall (DECC), United World Trade Center (UWTC), Tripureshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal

How can I register?

Fill out the registration form by following the Register Now link on the Kathmandu location’s dedicated webpage.

What challenges can I work on?

NASA has compiled a list of featured challenges for participants to choose from that include a wide range of topics, including possibilities for software and hardware development, citizen science, and data visualization.

For regular updates:


On Twitter, please follow #spaceapps for international updates and #spaceapps_ktm for updates on the Kathmandu Hackathon, as well as @spaceappsktm @ICIMOD @MountainGeoPortal or @mobilenepal


International Spaceapps Challenge [NASA], Kathmandu:



Contact info:

Suyesh Pradhan, ICIMOD


Mobile: 9803821405


Bimal Maharjan, Younginnovations Pvt. Ltd


Mobile : 9849958666

 For more information please visit

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