Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:June 30th, 2014 16:04 EST
NASA to Give General Public a Chance to Share Innovative Ideas

NASA to Give General Public a Chance to Share Innovative Ideas

By Ron G Anselm

"The most powerful mind challenges link the ability to use teamwork, technology and innovation to take the concept of out of the box thinking and creativity to limits that has never been seen before in science and technology." (Anselm, R.)

Our world has become so technological advanced it would stun our forefathers if they were alive today to experience it. NASA has been a big part of not only the world of science and astronomy but as-well as overall technology.

We see it in our everyday lives at work and home especially when it comes to computers and data interchange. I remember back in the 1970s when the Internet was first formed to many people that was almost like a new world of technology was discovered beyond comprehension and I guess back in those days of the Apple computer and software systems like Deltek it sort of was a huge technological advancement to be able to use the Information Superhighway as a means to communicate and discover a fountain of information the normal person had no clue existed.

My first experience using computer software and technology was in the military. In the Army I was of course a Combat Engineer grunt so not much computer experience was needed when you`re living in the field, ambushing enemy convoys, building bridges and disabling mines and booby traps so the Marines can hit the battle field safely without much resistance from the enemy but when I joined the Coast Guard we used plenty of computers. The system I used was the old whatever it was when you would have the blinking curser to sign on and punch in a number with decimals to navigate between computer commands and screens.

When I got out I really saw in civilian companies the advancements of computers and technology. This is especially true with the implantation of SAP, MRP and ERP systems used in production and manufacturing and distribution. And these systems are so user friendly a blind folded monkey could punch his way around each of these systems and maneuver software codes into data information to be able to form thoughts and communication so clear and concise anyone anywhere could understand the computer codes and information.

NASA has been a big part of this and continues to do so. Recently, NASA decided to launch to scientific challenges that will give us the general public a chance to brainstorm creative and innovative ideas on how to use data from NASA`s Earth science satellites. 

The challenges will use the Open NASA Earth Exchange. OpenNEX is a data, supercomputing and knowledge platform where users can share modeling and analysis codes, scientific results, knowledge and expertise to solve big data challenges in the Earth sciences. A component of the NASA Earth Exchange, OpenNEX provides users a large collection of climate and Earth science satellite data sets, including global land surface images, vegetation conditions, climate observations and climate projections. (

Rama Nemani who is the principal scientist for the NEX project said, "OpenNEX provides the general public with easy access to an integrated Earth science computational and data platform. These challenges allow citizen scientists to realize the value of NASA data assets and offers NASA new ideas on how to share and use that data." (Nemani, R.)

So, you can come up with any `out of the box` idea, present it to NASA on the computational data platform and maybe your idea will be used in one of the two challenge stages. This is the same concept put out by NASA as any large company getting involved in their community. This give the community of anyone who want to be a civilian scientist a chance to open their mind and come up was hopefully useful ideas that could possibly have an impact on science and various solutions to the many scientific challenges NASA faces.

Here`s how this program will work, the first stage of the challenge known as the Ideation stage will run from July 1, 2014 through August 1, 2014 and will offer as much as $10,000 in awards for any idea on the novel uses of datasets.

The second stage or builder stage will begin sometime in August and will offer even more money totally between $30,000 and $50,000 in awards for the development of an application or algorithm that will or can promote climate resilience using the OpenNex data which will be based off of the ideas from the first stage or ideation stage in this challenge. NASA will then announce the winners in December.

This challenge set forth by NASA also addresses a number of various White House initiatives which include the Open Data, Big Data, and Climate Data. All of these initiatives advance National goals that will address climate change, the impacts on economic growth, health and livelihood and the use of competitions and challenges to foster regional innovation. (

Tsengdar Lee who is the program manager in the Earth Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington added a little insight on this by stating, "NASA is an innovation leader in developing high-quality data covering all parts of our planet that can be used to make a difference in people`s lives. NASA is committed to sharing that knowledge freely with the global community." (Lee, T.)

This is a good idea by NASA because it goes in compliance and concept with the old saying of `Two Heads are better than one` with the global community in the mix who knows what ideas will spring up form wherever that could have an impact on the world of science.


NASA Launches Earth Science Challenges with OpenNEX Cloud Data, (, ( Retrieved 2014.

Technology does not just extend to everyday living and the world of science; it also extends to the world of sports. Look at the new Jumbo-Tron that was put in Cowboys Stadium in Dallas that is so big anytime a team is at the 50-yard line and punts on fourth down their kicker has to basically in a gingerly way, kick the ball softly so it doesn`t hit the bottom of the Jumbo-Tron. But gives the fan an experience at the game they will never forget. Or, the way just about every baseball stadium in the Major Leagues (except two, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field) renovated their stadiums into what is known now in the world of baseball as Retro Stadiums " with so much technology for the fans it makes the high-technology of say the Navy and aircraft carriers look like the old computer software of Apple computer and Deltek. If you want to learn more about the Retro Stadiums " of baseball buy a copy of my latest book titled, Our Grand Ol` national Past Time " A Brief History of Major League Baseball " and experience it for yourself form the comforts of your living room while reading my latest book. Go to ( or ( to buy your copies of my book.