Pillars of Creation | On the Shoulders of Giants

Awards & Nominations

Pillars of Creation has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Nominee

The Challenge | On the Shoulders of Giants

Create a game using images from the Hubble Space Telescope as integral components!

Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest is an engaging deep space edutainment exploration game. It combines gamification with the power of citizen science to process large amounts of data generated by the Hubble telescope.

Pillars of Creation

Visit our GitHub organisation, with our game prototype and a demo of the scoring system!


  • Hubble currently generates 844 gigabytes of data per month.
  • Hubble is only one of the many telescope satellites that will be orbiting the earth.
  • James Webb Space Telescope will be launched in March 2021.
  • As optical technology evolves, and space technology becomes more affordable, our vision is that there will be more imaging sources available generating data.
  • Processing and classifying all these data is a hard unsolved problem that requires many approaches (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8...).


Introducing Galaxy Quest, an immersive, space exploration game that leverages the analysis capabilities of citizen science to:

  • Help process and identify elements that require human eye for classification.
  • Help train a deep neural network for future automation.

Value proposition for users

Users will enjoy of an engaging and easy to use game that:

  • Will help them contribute to the science community.
  • Will help them learn more about deep space exploration.
  • Will make them have fun!

Value proposition for NASA

Some examples of benefits for NASA:

  1. Galaxy classification: spiral (77%), irregular (20%), barred, elliptical...
  2. Irregular galaxy shaping: draw around the irregular galaxy and see how much the doodle matches with the community. With X amounts of doodles the galaxy renaming could be “renamed”.
  3. Planetary nebula classification: axis definition, axis departure...
  4. Image preferred levels and colour processing: main level adjustments and colour application per layer
  5. More to come!: the modularity of the task system gurantees that other NASA value added tasks could be easily integrated in the game logic.

Who is our target user?

Anyone can help! Our target user is anyone with a smartphone around the world! Our recommendation would be to focus on users from 15-16 year old onwards.

How do we maintain customer engagement?

  • Gamification will be one the biggest engagement tool used for the app.
  • The game will focus on short 5-10 minute missions to allow the gameplay while commuting or waiting at the dentist!
  • The more galaxies you discover, the more “Hubble Time” you will win. The more time you win the higher rank you will be among your fellow scientists.
  • The designed scoring system will not only engage users, but also ensure that the collected data is accurate (see the GitHub repo for further details and a small demo).
  • Higher ranks will be able to discover the galaxies with higher grades of difficulties and as “experts” will be allowed to access new Hubble information sooner than the rest of the community.
  • More telescope data can easily be added to the game for processing even more information.
  • Grow the community and enable users to engage and discuss classification experiences.

Main game areas

  • Home: UI with augmented reality to locate Hubble's orbit and Hubble's current location, galaxy distribution on responsive skyline.
  • Tutorial: Become a deep space expert and gain “Hubble Time” by working on these time challenges.
  • Research center: Utilize “Hubble Time” to unlock and explore interesting new deep space objects.
  • News: Hubble data is always sending new data! Check out the latest news about Hubble and it's observations.
  • Hubble Maintenance/Upgrade: Click on Hubble to learn more about its history, repair mechanisms or issues. Show Hubble schematics and solve challenges.
  • About: Learn more about Galaxy Quest's contribution to data analysis around the globe.

SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.