Inspiration

As young kids, we have grown to love the wonders of this universe. And having the right resources for us to expand our knowledge in this field is something we have never took for granted. We wanted to make a program that allows many ambitious young scholars to pursue their interest in this field, so that’s why we made Zaster.

What it does

Zaster offers a module that continuously updates and monitors the International Space Station (ISS) throughout the globe. We were able to use a Nasa api for the ISS to constantly keep track of it. We also include the most recent news regarding astronomy through the use of the Hubble site api. Zaster also has an advanced image rendering machine that quickly classifies images into thousands of categories, detects individual objects and faces within images, and reads printed words contained within images. This is achieved by using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), in which we used a vision api. The web app will be running through the DragonBoard 410c, which is running on Debian 9 Stretch to feature everything mentioned before.

How we built it

We used NodeJS, ExpressJS and embedded Javascript for our stack. We used multiple NASA apis' for getting the image of the day, and then using Google Cloud Platform's Vision artificial intelligence engine to help describe what the image is. Clicking on the info tab gives this information. We also incorporated Google translate cloud api to allow users to translate any words they do not understand, in their own language (German for now, we will add support for more languages later). Next, we used the open api that returns the location of the International Space Station and plotted it on a map using here.com's api to show users where they can spot the international space center from. We also made use of the hubble's news api to link their latest publications. On top of that we made a node server using the DragonBoard 410c to host our app. Sounds easy right? IT WAS NOT!

Challenges we ran into

Learning Node.js on the fly, using it with express.js was a challenge itself. Next, figuring out how to manipulate and display all the data we pulled from the apis was a very time consuming task, time was something we were very short on given our very limited knowledge with our stack.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We made a web app that was out of this world!

What we learned

Persistence is key to success!

What's next for Zaster

Zaster is a web app that educates young adolescents interested in the field of science and astronomy to expand their understanding of this field. We strive to bring the most updated and new content that interests these young adults. Zaster offers a module that continuously updates and monitors the International Space Station (ISS) throughout the globe. We were able to use a Nasa api for the ISS to constantly keep track of it. We also include the most recent news regarding astronomy through the use of the Hubble site api. Zaster also has an advanced image rendering machine that quickly classifies images into thousands of categories, detects individual objects and faces within images, and reads printed words contained within images. This is achieved by using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), in which we used a vision api. The web app will be running through the DragonBoard 410c, which is running on Debian 9 Stretch to feature everything mentioned before. Zaster is an educational web app that enables many to appreciate the wonders of the galaxy and continue to push pass the limits of our universe.

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