The Ukrainian team that created a Mars Hopper project won the People’s Choice Award in NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, as reported on the contest’s official website.
The winner of this award was selected through voting on the hackathon’s website. The Mars Hopper project was created by Ukrainians Vyacheslav Osaulenko, Pavel Pravdyukov, Andrei Muzychenko, Ilya Rubinsky, Alexander Butkalyuk, Sofia Butkalyuk and Nikolai Denisenko.
The team found out about its victory three days before the results were officially announced, ain.ua reports. In an official letter, organizers of the hackathon asked the winners not to disclose the information prematurely.
According to Butkalyuk, when developing the project, the team took into account that Ukraine has almost all the technology needed to implement it. “That would be wonderful if our country takes its deserved place among ‘space countries,’” he said.
The idea for the project Mars Hopper was summarized in a short video presentation. It is all about launching an aircraft to investigate the Mars poles and their surroundings, using dry ice from the surface of the planet as fuel. It would “jump” on the surface, taking ice and turning it into gas.