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Engineers, Students To Take Part In NASA Hackathon In Philadelphia

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia will be the world headquarters of a two day NASA "hackathon" on April 20th and 21st.

About 100 software engineers, students and the curious will put their heads together at Drexel University's ExCITE Center next Saturday and Sunday for the International Space Apps Challenge.

The center's director, Youngmoo Kim, says NASA has proposed 50 challenges worldwide.

"One example is, can we build a system or maybe apps to help us spot the International Space Station as it's flying overhead?" Kim explains.

Others include predicting asteroid orbits, or mapping weather on Mars.

Kim says no one truly expects the two-day event to produce final versions of software, but it should offer a springboard for ideas to take off.

The hackathon is part of the Philadelphia Science Festival and Philly Tech week.

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