NASA Names Tajik Team as a Global Semi-Finalist in the Space Apps Challenge 2021

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The Oogway Comics team from Tajikistan, which consists of four people, reached the semifinals of the global Space Apps Challenge 2021 held by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of America (NASA).

The NASA Space Apps Challenge is the world’s largest hackathon, which includes more than 5,000 teams from over 160 countries and territories. During the 2021 contest held on October 2-3, teams competed to produce innovative solutions to a range of scientific problems. American Space Dushanbe facilitated the participation of 24 Tajik teams this year after hosting the first NASA Space Apps Challenge in Tajikistan in 2020.

The international hackathon was held for exactly 48 hours. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and in the interests of health and safety of the global community, the hackathon was held online.

This year the Oogway team selected a task to create “artfully illuminated asteroids” and produce a comic book and an app to educate youth about NASA’s Lucy Mission to explore Trojan Asteroids (remnants of our early solar system). Team members included Timur Sharipov, Malika Achilova, Bahodur Ishonkhojayeva, and Sheroz Juraev.

NASA selected the Oogway team as one of only 37 semi-finalist teams. The 10 winning teams will be announced in December. Winners will be able to tour the United States and attend a rocket launch.

“The NASA Space Apps challenge was a tremendous opportunity for Tajik participants to demonstrate their talents, promote science education, and work with NASA,” said founder of the Oogway team Timur Sharipov.

“We are thrilled that a Tajik team has become a semi-finalist for the first time. The Oogway comics team is also the only team representing CIS countries this year. This is a truly a unique event for the country and the region,” noted American Space Dushanbe Director, leader of the NASA Space Apps Challenge in Tajikistan Nilufar Muradova.

US Ambassador to Tajikistan John Mark Pommersheim congratulated the Oogway team and all Tajik participants, and noted that he is proud that young Tajiks can innovate at the highest level.

The Oogway team held a public presentation of its Mission Lucy comics series at the American Space Dushanbe earlier on November 20.

Tajik participation in the NASA Space Apps Challenge at the American Space Dushanbe was made possible by funding from the US Embassy in Dushanbe.

Programmers, analysts, mobile developers, designers, and other specialists were allowed participate in the hackathon.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan