Aircraft designed to investigate Mars and its surroundings
Ukrainian Mars Hopper aircraft, created by a team from Kyiv, has won the People's Choice award in NASA's SpaceApps challenge 2016. This event is one of the world's largest international annual hackathons. Ukraine has participated in the challenge for the first time.
"Mars Hopper is your 2016 People's Choice Award winner! Please give a virtual round of applause to Mars Hopper, along with all the teams in the Top 25", according to the statement published on the official website of the event.
Mars Hopper is a computer modeling of a plane for investigation of Mars poles and its surroundings. In theory, it uses the dry ice, covering Mars, to create jet thrust for jumps and to create rotation of propellers to sustain flight. That's why it is called "Hopper". The Ukrainian team is currently planning to create two prototypes of the aircraft.
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NASA is already taking interest in the project. The agency's scientists say, they could help the Ukrainians develop the needed software. The first fully operational plane could be created in the next 5-8 years.
NASA Space Apps Challenge was held in Ukraine and 170 other countries this April.