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Kansas City team shines bright in global NASA Space Apps Challenge

Sol integrates weather data from Earth and Mars into a mobile app.

Some of Kansas City’s stellar talent lit up global competition to land two awards in the NASA International Space Apps Challenge.

A team of local programmers, designers, project managers and content developers from Salva O’Renick, Ingenology, RareWire, Sprint, Cerner, VML and Waddell & Reed worked on two applications April 20-21 at Ingenology’s offices in the Crossroads Arts District.

Sol, “a mobile and tablet app that integrates weather data from the Curiosity rover on Mars with weather data on Earth,” according to a press release, won Best Use of Data—just one of five best-in-class awards—and Stellar Stuff, an educational game app highlighting the impact of NASA research, earned honorable mention in the Galactic Impact category. The Sol team will receive invitations to NASA’s MAVEN launch in November and an offer for spaceflight training packages.

“These honors validate what we already knew—we have great tech development talent in Kansas City,” said Mark O’Renick, Ingenology CEO. “It proves that through the process of creative, collaborative change, we can compete with anyone across the globe.”

More than 9,000 participants gravitated toward the second annual Challenge in teams from about 80 locations on seven continents (yes, Antartica, too)—and the International Space Station—to produce open-source solutions for more than 50 challenges presented by NASA related to space exploration, education and missions.

The Challenge is part of the Open Government Initiative signed by President Obama, meant to bridge the gap between Americans and their government.

Have you heard of other recent accolades handed out to Kansas City’s talent? Share in the comments below!


Credits: Photo courtesy Ingenology. Video from Mike Wilson on YouTube.

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