CEE startups top NASA International Space Apps Challenge!

CEE startups top NASA International Space Apps Challenge!
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     Last week NASA announced the results of the International Space Apps Challenge. The 48-hour hackathon united startup teams from 61 countries, 161 cities and resulted in 1178 innovative projects. Local hackathon sessions took place on 22-24 April. We are proud to share the great news: 3 projects from CEE are among the 5 Space Challenge People’s Choice Awards’ finalists, while Ukrainian Mars Hopper tops the list!

CEE startups top NASA International Space Apps Challenge!

Source: 2016.spaceappschallenge.org

     The People’s Choice Awards voting lasted for a week: citizens on all continents were free to support the projects they considered most impressive and useful. The Challenge participants represented by numerous engineers, designers, astronauts, software developers and all the people interested in space technologies were supposed to create something big, something able to impact real challenges and something truly practical. NASA suggested solving problems in the following categories:

1. Aeronautics
2. Space Station
3. Solar System
4. Technology
5. Earth
6. Journey to Mars.

     Ukrainian startup Mars Hopper became the People’s Choice Award Winner, provided that Space Apps Challenge was held in Ukraine only for the first time! Mars Hopper represents the unique plane designed to perform investigations on Mars and the planet’s surroundings. The plane works on CO2: while landing, the machine harvests CO2, covering the planet surface, for the next flight and deceleration. According to Mars Hopper young developers, such a plane can be constructed and tested already with existing technologies, which can be proved with the calculations of energy consumptions made by the team.

CEE startups top NASA International Space Apps Challenge!

Source: 2016.spaceappschallenge.org

     Another impressive project, coming from the post-USSR Belarus, where the hackathon was also held only for the first time, is Wake Up NEO. Belarusian team is up to saving the world by avoiding possible collisions with asteroids: for that, Wake Up NEO suggests applying machine learning to detect and classify asteroids.
CEE startups top NASA International Space Apps Challenge!
     Finally, Macedonian project Avis presented an innovative solution designed to facilitate managing drones: a smart wristband and a special Android app will notify the drone operator of the current weather parameters, extreme fly zones and local terrains. All this can be done within a five-mile radius.

CEE startups top NASA International Space Apps Challenge!

Source: 2016.spaceappschallenge.org

     Although in most CEE countries the governments’ attention to space projects is relatively weak, the tech expertise of local developers is still alive and seems to be moving further. Hopefully, the initiatives set by young engineers will find certain technical and financial support in the nearest future.

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