The Space BlockHeads | 1D, 2D, 3D, Go!

The Challenge | 1D, 2D, 3D, Go!

Create and deploy web apps that will enable anyone to explore Earth from orbit! Visualize Earth science satellites and mission data using interactive virtual globes, such as NASA’s Web WorldWind. Use data sets from NASA’s Open Data Portal to present fire, ice, clouds, meteorites, or water temperature spectra.

NASA Blocks for Scratch (College/Pro)

We make NASA data sets available to non-programmers and beginning programmers via MIT's Scratch, a block based visual programming language. We do this by creating addon blocks for Scratch that query NASA datasets.

The Space BlockHeads


NASA provides numerous datasets to the public. Accessing these datasets often requires technical knowledge beyond that of most people. Our goal is to make this data more easily accessible.


We have made an extension for MIT's Scratch programming language. Scratch uses drag and drop blocks that represent code to make programming simpler. Our extension adds new blocks that allow users to access data from NASA's POWER project data sets via its API. These blocks retrieve NASA data in real time. We wrote the extension in JavaScript.

Our future Scratch blocks will provide more data from satellites and the space station for Scratch programmers to use in their programs.

For an example of how these blocks can be used to find data for specific locations:


Scratch extensions must be developed in ScratchX Beta. ScratchX is a flash based application. The procedure to load extension blocks is more cumbersome than necessary. ScratchX only allows extensions to be loaded from GitHub Pages, which requires pushing every change to the associated GitHub repository. Every update would have a delay while waiting for GitHub Pages to reflect the repository. This led to an extremely difficult workflow.

Furthermore, we originally had four member, but one our members, Dillong Long, became ill and had to leave.

Project Code:


Demonstration Project:

Resources Used:


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.