: Ukrainian project leading in NASA Space Apps Challenge

13:45 May. 12, 2016

Ukrainian project leading in NASA Space Apps Challenge

Photo Courtesy: NASA

MarsHopper plane designed by a team from Kyiv

A lead in the NASA Space Apps Challenge: People's Choice Awards now belongs to a Ukrainian team, reports Hromadske Radio. The project called MarsHopper was developed by inventors from Kyiv. The project is designed to conduct investigations of Mars north and south poles as well as the planets surroundings.

Watch also Astronauts prepare for Mars expedition in Austrian glacier

Coming in close second behind the MarsHopper team is a group of Macedonian inventors, so it the win could go either way.

The MarsHopper which is a type of a plane uses CO2 in solid form. It covers the surface of the planet to essentially create jet thrust. During landing the plane harvests CO2 for its next flight. On the surface plane accumulates radioisotope energy into CO2, by changing it from solid to supercritical fluid. Supercritical CO2 is used to create jet thrust for the next jump and create a rotation of the propellers in order to sustain flight, hence the name of plane "hopper".

Watch also NASA's MAVEN mission answers key questions about Mars' past

NASA Space Apps Challenge was held in Ukraine and 170 other countries this April. This was the first time Ukraine took part in the competition.

People's Choice Award vote will last for 3 more days. Only one vote a day is allowed per project.

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