Each year NASA recruits Datanauts to explore satellite data, share skills and network with others around the world. It’s a chance to explore new techniques and technologies, work on collaborative projects and even meet a few NASA celebs. I was part of the founding class (that’s me in the right hand pic), which shared dreams and goals leading to the Datanaut’s portal. In the past few years I’ve observed increased participation around the world and new project ideas coming from virtual water-cooler chats. Whether you have an interest in data that might help the Earth’s environment, a curiosity about robotics or theories on deep learning, there is both something to be learned and something to share. The best part of this program is that it honors innovation, which means an artist is just as likely to be a key contributor as a physics expert. The program also honors diversity because NASA is looking to solve world problems, so having participants from different geographical locations is crucial to the mission. I used my hardware skills to create a pin that lights up when the International Space Station flies by. So, what amazing skill will you bring? Now is the time to apply; you are the right person—it just takes passion and an interest in data. I encourage you to take a look at Matt Scott’s recent post on the Datanaut’s site which explains the type of people you’ll meet in the program and examples of projects. Then, please do apply here by December 22nd. Keep looking up; there’s a lot of solutions in space that are waiting to be used for Earth.
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