Visas of eight among 16 members were rejected this year
Nasa has again welcomed the Bangladeshi winners of NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018 to attend the felicitation program of World Champions 2019, scheduled in 2020.
A team of Bangladeshi students lead by Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) team, Olik, won an award in the “Best Use of Data” category of NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018.
The team was invited to visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) headquarters, but the US Embassy rejected the visa applications for half of the team members, despite all having the Nasa invitation.
A 16-members team, including five members of Olik, was scheduled to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida from July 21 to 23. Tickets and hotel rooms were already booked, and the Information and Communication Technology Division was bearing the costs.
On July 22, 2019, Olik joined the NASA Space Apps Challenge Global Program through a video conference, and presented their project using a video presentation.
A video speech by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) State Minister, Zunaid Ahmed Palak was presented at the program, in front of Nasa high officials, global organizers, invited world champion teams, and local organizers.
Shobhana S Gupta manager of Earth Science Division in Nasa, Caley Burke, aerospace engineer of Nasa, and Andrew Denio, information technology specialist of Nasa were also present at the program.
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Nasa's top officials were disappointed, and empathized with team Olik as they could not go this year, but the team will be greeted with the next year’s winning teams, said Didarul Alam convenor of NASA Space Apps Challenge Bangladesh.
NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018
Olik's project was a Lunar VR that allows users to virtually explore the landing site of Apollo 11, orbit the moon with the LRO satellite, and also observe the eclipse from the lunar surface.
The team collected 3D models, and information from various resources of Nasa.
NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018 Bangladesh Winners are as follows:
Dhaka-Champion: Team Game Changer; Runners-up: Team Planet Kit
Chittagong- Champion Team Queue; Runners-up: Team Matra
Comilla- Champion: Team Photon; Runners-up: Team MetaCoders
Rangpur- Champion: Team HSTU Matroid
Sylhet- Champion: Team Olik
The International Space Apps Challenge is a two-day Hackathon where teams of technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, developers, and students from across the globe collaborate, and engage with publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenges.