Tullahoma Native Wins International NASA Competition

Astrid

Astrid

Tullahoma is fortunate to have a technology heritage. An impressive short list includes the Nation’s largest wind tunnel operated by hypersonic engineers, smallest city with gigabit fiber; 25 percent of residents hold advanced degrees and the University of Tennessee Space Institute graduates rocket scientists.
The newest addition to this tech talent is Native Chad Marcum, whose app was selected as the winner of Atlanta’s NASA International Space Apps Challenge and will represent the city of Atlanta in the International Judging. The app will be available to the public on the app store following the international judging and NASA’s official launch.
“The city has more advanced technology in its 23 square miles than most countries possess in all their cities combined,” said Mayor Lane Curlee. “We are very proud of Chad’s accomplishment.”  It is this type of talent that helps make Tullahoma unique. There are many stories of technology accomplishments going on in our town each day.
“This was an intense 48-hour international competition to solve some of the largest global challenges we face.” said Chad Marcum. “I was honored and humbled to receive the award in an international competition. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team member from South Africa, Heidi Proske.”
Marcum was tasked with the challenge to leverage NASA’s Earth Observing System, creating a game or app that displays satellite images of places around the world and asks users to guess where and what they are. The app could include land cover and land class identification tools for users to visually interpret features on the ground.
What Marcum created was Astrid – a smart bubbly astronaut, who needs your help as she flies her spaceship around our planet looking for new cities to land in and explore. Astrid’s space ship blasts of into space, and users look down on the earth from Astrid’s cockpit and must successfully determine what city they are viewing.  If users successfully select the correct city, Astrid lands safely in that city, and users can accompany her and explore the city by learning exciting and fun facts about that particular location (Population Data, History, Economy, Government, Politics, And much more!)
Since the win, Marcum has worked with other app developers to create the apps #selfie360 (an app that uses stop motion to take and share selfies) and BallTune (an app that tells users the PSI of a soccer ball by filming it bounce).  Both apps are available on the app store.
In the future, Marcum hopes to host a hackathon event in Tullahoma. “Tullahoma has the infrastructure and resources; this would be an opportunity to showcase our local talent while introducing new talent to our technology oasis.”