First, THANK YOU to everyone who participated and helped organize this event. A lot of work that paid off in a great hackathon day. We all had fun hosting the event and really enjoyed the final projects.

1) The Winners!

  • Overall – Team NOVA
  • Runner-up – Team ChuDe
  • Best engagement – Team Smart Azteroids
  • Honorable mention – Team EchoSpace

2) ChallengPost

As part of the NASA contract, we need a ‘permanent’ online record of the event, so if you have not done so, please upload your submission (in whatever shareable way) to the Asteroid Hackathon ChallengePost site. Many thanks.

3) Picture Repository

We realized a lot of people were taking pictures. We made a shared Google Drive folder. Upload your photos! Check out the rest.

UPDATES: THU 23 Oct 2014

1) Events!

  • Reception Happy Hour — 6:00 PM -8:30 PM at EchoUser, 115 Sansome St., Floor 7, SF CA 94104. Downtown SF. Recommend transit options.
  • Main event, Asteroid Hackathon — 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM SETI Institute, 189 N Bernando Ave, Mountain View, CA 94034. Plenty of parking.

2) Hack room.

Our new SETI partners are great. Super helpful crew. However, the space is a bit tighter than the prior scheduled venue. Prepare to work in somewhat tight quarters. Bringing extra internet hotspots wouldn’t be a bad idea either. We’ll have plenty of eats, drinks, and hack supplies to make it fun.

3) Asterank!

More idea fodder for you. Asterank was created by Ian Webster (one of our judges!). We don’t expect you to create something to this scale, but check it out, very cool. It was created on top of the Minor Planet Center data. Read more about it here:

UPDATES: TUE 21 Oct 2014

1) Ideas.

Still exploring inspiration? Check out the results of the Asteroid Design Jam we did in August as a practice run-up for this Asteroid Hackathon. It was ideas only (with data only as inspiration). Hitch a ride on an asteroid!

2) Guidance.

If you’ve had a chance to look, you’ll know that the asteroid dataset is not classic BIG DATA. Our challenge is more of doing something interesting and informative with the data that we do have (or don’t have! which is also part of our asteroid challenge). That’s partly why this is a DESIGN & development hackathon.

3) More Data!

The SETI Institute has provided some supplemental data to play with. (We really like these guys!) The Minor Planet Center data is still the primary dataset, but more the merrier.

If you have any questions, please email us:

Also, we’re updating the Eventbrite details and this page with all of these updates.

UPDATES: MON 20 Oct 2014

1) Data Documentation

A key link didn’t make yesterday’s email! Documentation, format, and meaning for the asteroid data can be seen here: We will also be updating the Eventbrite.

2) Why an Asteroid Hackathon?

Asteroids are a real threat, and a real opportunity. For those who haven’t see it, check out an interivew with two of our main sponsors (and judges!) in our blog post from August.

3) More Data!

The SETI Institute, our new event venue, is working on providing even more data to sweeten the hackathon pot. We’re working out the details, but stay tuned for more updates this week.

As always, let us know if you’re still in search of a team for the hackathon by emailing


1) The DATA!

It’s here (SQL), here (CSV), and here (JSON). Web Service APIpage for explanations of what each parameter represents. We encourage you and your team to dive in and get to hacking! Design, development, storyboarding, etc. Whatever you’d like to go about building before next Saturday, October 25. All is fair game.


The hackathon will now be taking place at the SETI Institute(189 North Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043). All other event details remain the same.

3) Let’s Chat!

We’ve setup a Reddit subreddit for the Asteroid Hackathon called/r/hack_space. It’ll primarily be for the community to talk with one another and post related links. We’ll jump in from time to time as we can to answer questions and update the sticky post. But it will be lightly moderated as we’re mostly focused on next weekend!


Hi all, a couple of announcements as the Asteroid Hackathon is fast approaching. Please read below. And see further below for full event details.

1) Please enter your team and all your teammates in the Asteroid EventBrite. We realize EventBrite isn’t the best at group signup. Try these steps below:

  • One person Creates a team. The others Join by searching for the team name the first person created. If you need assistance, please
  • Signup your team at ChallengePost. We will be using ChallengePost to host your work for judging, and for a permanent record of what we achieved at the hackathon. You can enter all your teammates there in lieu of the Eventbrite.
  • If you still need teammates, we can try and match you up with other folks looking for the same. Let us know at

2) Friday Oct 24 reception happy hour in San Francisco. Enjoy drinks and appetizers, asteroid q&a as needed, and otherwise mentally prep for the next day’s Asteroid Hackathon. 6:00 – 8:30 PM, 115 Sansome St., Floor 7, San Francisco, CA 94104.

The Grand Challenge

EchoUser, in partnership with SpaceGAMBIT, Maui Makers, the Minor Planet Center, NASA, the SETI Institute, and Further by Design, is hosting an Asteroid Hackathon. The event is in response to the NASA Grand Challenge, “focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them.”

The Data

THE official asteroid data storage set is being provided by the Minor Planet Center.

Hackathon Challenge

Help engage astronomers, space nerds, and the general public. Make our planet safer by re-imagining asteroid data.

Your Team

Teams will be 3 – 5 people. Each team must include at least one designer/user experience expert, one engineer/developer, and one citizen scientist; i.e., you like space : )


  • We will offer cash prizes!! $1,500 for the overall winner and other cash prizes. In addition, winning ideas will receive additional support from the Minor Planet Center to further develop their concepts.


  • Sign up now. Let us know who you are and a bit about your team. We will periodically send out announcements as the event gets closer.

Eventbrite - Asteroid Hackathon

  • About 7 days before the event, we will provide all registered teams with sample data. (As an early hint, this is not a “big data” problem. Yes, there is a lot of data, but this challenge is more about how you will organize and present information.)
  • Friday, October 24, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM will be a welcome happy hour at EchoUser’s office at 115 Sansome St., Floor 7, San Francisco, CA 94104. Meet your fellow hackers and event organizers. Share ideas. Ask and answer questions. Enjoy drinks and appetizers.
  • Saturday, October 25, 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM will be the main event Asteroid Hackathon at SETI Institute (189 North Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043).

Schedule Overview

Friday, October 24 – EchoUser Office

  • 6:00 – 8:30 PM Pre-event reception

Saturday, October 25 – SETI Institute

  • 8:30 AM Coffee & Registration
  • 9:00 AM Welcome and opening
  • 9:15 AM Hacking begins!
  • 12:00 PM Lunch
  • 4:00 PM “Science Fair” demos & crowdsource pre-judging
  • 5:00 PM Top ~10% teams present
  • 5:45 PM Winners announced
  • 6:00 PM Closing remarks
  • 6:30 PM High five. Celebrate. Go home.

The History

The Asteroid Hackathon is a part of NASA’s Grand Challenge – a program devoted to finding all asteroid threats before they enter earth’s atmosphere and determining what to do with them. FYI, the banner image at the top of this page is a real asteroid impacting Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013.

The hackathon is one of ten projects funded by SpaceGAMBIT, an international collaboration of space enthusiasts who exist to make space research and exploration available to all.


Registration for the Asteroid Hackathon includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch (and snacks! Oh, there will be snacks!)
  • Internet and asteroid data access onsite
  • Expert advice on your idea

Bay Area Science Fun:

  • The Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose)
  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (San Jose)
  • Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland)
  • The Lawrence Hall of Science Planetarium (Berkeley)
  • The Lick Observatory (Mt Hamilton)
  • The Exploratoruim (San Francisco)
  • The California Academy of Sciences + Planetarium (San Francisco)

Cancellations and participant changes:

  • If you or any member of your team can no longer participate, please update your Eventbrite registration to reflect the current team members.
  • If your team can no longer participate, please cancel your Eventbrite registration or email to cancel.


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