NASA Spaceapps Challenge begins in Nicosia in the presence of NASA Chief scientist James Green [VIDEO]

The local competition of the NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018 began on Saturday in Nicosia in the presence of NASA Chief scientist James Green.

During the 48-hour competition, which is brought to Nicosia by the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO), the Cypriot teams have the unique opportunity to be mentored by NASAs Chief scientist.

This year, apart from the international challenges, NASA offers Cypriot teams a unique challenge, following Cyprus success in the competition, when in only five years it managed to win twice first international prizes and one second.

President of CSEO George Danos told participants that the winner of the exclusive Cyprus challenge will travel to the US to visit the Marshall Space Flight Center.

NASA Chief scientist James Green spoke about the challenges that NASA had to face as regards for example the Mars Curiosity mission and how its scientists managed to overcome any difficulties and encouraged Cypriots to continue participating in the competition, noting the first prizes that Cypriot teams achieved on international level.

Professor at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Hermann Opgenoorth, who presides over the MUAN network of scientists studying Mars, told participants that the scientific community needs the ideas of the new generation. The MUAN network held its meeting in Nicosia this week, and decided to make Cyprus its permanent venue of the meetings it will have every two years.

The NASA Space Apps is an international hackathon that occurs over 48 hours in more than 200 cities around the world. The competition brings together people of diverse scientific backgrounds, in order to address engineering issues through specific challenges. The NASA Space Apps Challenge is the biggest event for the development of innovative and space oriented ideas.

The winning teams of the international challenges will represent Cyprus at the International Space Apps Challenge. The winner of the Cyprus challenge will be invited by NASA to visit the Marshall space center.

The NASA Space Apps Challenge is hosted by the Municipality of Nicosia.

CNA acts as media sponsor of the competition.

The winner of the international chanllenge and the winner for the Cyprus challenge will be announced on Sunday afternoon.

Cypriot success stories at NASA Space Apps Challenge In 2015 the Cypriot team ArachnoBeeA won the first international NASA Best Mission Concept Award for their project of the worlds first Zero G drone. ArachnoBeeA was selected by NASA’s evaluation committee as the global winner in the Best Mission Concept category, among over 950 participants from 135 cities.

Announcing the first prize to the Cypriot team, NASA said that , Arachnobeea from (Limassol, Cyprus) designed a spider-bee drone for small cargo transport with a grab and capture capability and the ability to dock and release.

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli has described ArachnoBeeAs project as an innovative and clever concept, saying that their drone has many possibilities and one day if it is sent to space, it would be of great use to the ISS astronauts.

Last year, a Cypriot team of students called Nestfold won the first prize in the international NASA space apps challenge competition, in the people’s choice category. Their idea is a deployable NestFold capsule that can be air-dropped in areas suffering from natural disasters rescuing victims from fire, flood, landslide, earthquake etc.

In 2013 Cypriot project MarsSense, which was the winner of the Space Apps Limassol 2013, was given the second international award in the category Peoples Choice Award of the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. The Cypriot team of MarsSense was invited in 2014 to the biggest space conference, called Space Ops, which is organised by NASA. There, the Cypriot team presented its work and was excelled as one of the four leading academic projects related to Space Exploration for the biennium 2013-2014.

Source: Cyprus News Agency