NASA is interested in working with the 16 million-strong community to “contribute to the efforts of space exploration”.
Recreational activities such as gardening could have a positive impact on the moods and performance of those sent on space missions, while the presence of plant life on board the astronauts’ home and workplace could also boost wellbeing.
Currently, Astronauts utilizes manual-wind Omega Speedmaster watches that have stopwatch as well as counter functions.
Japan will deliver almost five tonnes of supplies, including equipment needed for experiments to the worldwide Space Station (ISS), using its heavy lift H-II transport vehicle, its fifth mission to the ISS so far.
In a post on the Freelancer website, NASA says, “We (NASA) are concerned in the emerging world of smartwatch technology and are seeing to leverage this technology to create a smartwatch app that could be useful to astronauts”. It goes on to describe the kinds of daily activites the app would be used for.
In the competition, which is organized and supervised by the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), all programmers with or with out experience in designing cellular apps are invited. And Nasa’s choice of Samsung’s Gear 2 for the hardware reference is interesting, considering the common use of iPads to run operating procedures on the space station. The space agency also included a number of examples of things that need to be viewable on the app, including an agenda-type view of the crew’s Timeline, which is now displayed on an iPad or laptop.
The aim of the contest is to provide NASA with an app that can be a general user interface for astronauts while they work in the ISS. Maybe not, which is why NASA has recently launched a contest on Freelancer. The app should also have a feedback function to specific actions, plus the app’ features need to be clear and brief enough to be read form a small screen like that of Samsung Gear.