2014 Call for Projects

Time’s up everyone. Stay tuned for results of our judging!

SpaceGAMBIT is an open-source, hackerspace space program. We believe in building humanity into a spacefaring civilization, and we see collaboration and the maker movement as a way to get there.

We are launching our second round of project funding with a call for community-built, open-source projects in line with NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, namely finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them. Successful applicants will receive a $5,000-$20,000 contract. This Call For Projects is open as of March 26, 2014 and will remain open until May 20, 2014. Projects may be selected early on a rolling basis.


Project Themes

Projects should address one or more of these themes:

  • Fun educational software/websites to explain the Asteroid Grand Challenge and make real science more accessible to the public. This software will be taken to festivals and other events, and be available to use online or download. Examples:

    • a game where player one “launches” asteroids (based on real asteroid data) at Earth, while player two uses feasible asteroid deflection techniques to defend the planet.

    • Leverage software people already use and love, eg. integrating asteroids into Minecraft.

    • Interactive multi-media (web and/or stand alone kiosk) explaining the Asteroid Grand Challenge – threat of asteroids, how we find them, ways to deal with them.
  • Training material for the Asteroid Grand Challenge to engage the maker movement, citizen scientists and the public in general. For example:

  • Making telescopes more accessible to citizen science.

    • For example, telescopes with mirrors of half a meter (20 inches) or more are optimal for asteroid detection. Typically these are well outside the budget of amateurs. Bringing down the cost would make a big impact.

    • Increasing access to remote observation telescopes (Slooh, etc)
  • Other Space Related Projects : non-asteroid related proposals will be considered if they meet the other project requirements below.

Project Requirements

  • Documented Open Tech: All projects must be open source, open hardware and open documentation. Projects MUST be documented in an open manner that allows others to replicate the work. Additionally a short final summary report of the project will be required in a printable format.

  • Not restricted use or information under ITAR (International Trade in Arms Regulations).
  • Community Space: All projects must be coordinated through a collaborative community space such as a hackerspace, makerspace, FabLab, etc.

  • Accounting: Project contracts will be subject to certain US government reporting and accounting restrictions. All money needs to be accounted for with standard accounting practices (including hours worked), and digital reports submitted to SpaceGAMBIT. Example spreadsheets will be provided.

  • Budget: Up to $10,000.

  • Timeframe: Projects must be completed by August 30 2014, including documentation and reporting.

  • Innovative: Projects must be innovative and evolutionary. No stunts. Also, no perpetual motion machines.

  • Education: Projects must have an educational component to inspire and educate the public about space and making.

  • License: Acceptable licenses are Creative Commons:

Project Guidelines

Not requirements per se, but these are nice to have:

  • Incorporate digital badging and gamification to track achievements and motivate users. Tie in with OpenBadges where possible

  • Sustainability: The project must be able to grow and develop after initial round of funding is finished. A business plan is highly encouraged.

Get Started!

Step 1 – Quick Summary

To ensure you don’t use up lots of time in writing a long proposal for us, we’d first like you to send us the general gist of your project. Fill in our project summary form so we can see if your project is suitable. We’ll send you feedback so you can tailor your project to fit our requirements.

Step 2 – Feedback and Development

After we send you the feedback for your idea, you can fill in a detailed project registration form, which we will send to you. We’ll then get back to you with more detailed feedback within 3-5 working days.  We may engage in some dialog to help build a better proposal.

Step 3 – Proposal

Submit us a full proposal as a PDF file (email to projects@spacegambit.org ).  Proposal needs to have the name/address of legal entity with whom we will contract, contact information (name, email, phone, mailing address), DUNS number,  short name of project, longer description, tasks, costs, schedule and info on primary people involved.   See the example proposal outline in our public googleDoc folder.

You MUST include a business accounting person in your plans, budget, etc. Plan to pay them.   Examples of proposals that were funded last year can be found on links from the Year 1 (2013) Projects page.    Note that these are imperfect examples – most neglected to consider the business side of doing business.

Questions and comments

Fill in our questions form if you have any questions or comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

About SpaceGAMBIT

SpaceGAMBIT is a program run by Maui Makers LLC funded by a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the US Government.  It is backed by an international team of advisors and collaborators.  SpaceGAMBIT and selected projects do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.