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Epic hacker projects compete for a trip to space

A prize for hackers seeks the next transformative piece of open-source hardware. Its grand prize? Out of this world.

Could this Raspberry Pi-based take on Google Glass earn its maker a trip to space?

True hardware hackers and makers in the open-source movement create for the joy of creation itself, but they probably wouldn't turn down a free trip to space as a reward for their ingenuity, either.

That's the basic idea behind the Hackaday Prize, which is offering just such a trip for the grand prize winner that comes up with the best new piece of open-source hardware. It's not much more complicated than that, and the only real caveat seems to be that the project be hardware based, apps aren't going to cut it on their own. Entries also have to include documentation -- as Hackaday says "Openness is a Virtue" -- such as lists of parts, schematics, images, and videos.

The open entry process runs through August 4 on the Hackaday website, where the community can also weigh in on the dozens of projects already online there. The grand prize is a trip to space on a carrier of the winner's choice or a cash option of $196,418. Other smaller prizes will be awarded along the way, with a panel judging the top contenders. The winner of the trip to space will be announced in November.

While there's still a month left for folks to enter the contest, there's already a number of pretty bizarre and interesting entries. Click through the gallery below for the details on eight of the most intriguing or just plain strange projects entered so far -- many of them are appropriately space and sci-fi oriented.