The 2016 Odysseus Contest Final took place from 5th to 8th July 2016, at the Euro Space Center in Transinne, Belgium, under the high patronage of the European Parliament. The Final gathered the top Pioneers teams and Explorers, winners at the national and regional stages, organized during the past academic year.
The 31 Odysseus finalists from 11 countries enjoyed four days full of fun and Space related experiences and engaged in a space science challenge that enabled them to showcase their skills, knowledge and talent.
Space mission simulations, astronaut training exercises, lectures about life in space and space industry were only a few of the programme activities. The finalists also visited the Redu ground station of the European Space Agency and the Observatory in Ardennes.
On Thursday 7th of July, the Pionners and Explorers presented their entries in the Odysseus II International Jury Panel and whole process of the projects’ presentations was live streamed.
The winners in all categories, including the Skywalkers, which top entries were decided through on-line voting by all members of the Odysseus community, were announced on Friday 8th July, in the 2016 Odysseus Winners Award Ceremony.
The Odysseus Semi – Final for Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia took place in Warsaw between 12 and 15 of April.
A considerable part of the semi – final consisted of presentations of the participating entries. All teams had the chance to demonstrate their knowledge and skills during their 20 – minute presentation and to answer to the questions from the Jury members and other participants.
Apart from the actual contest the participants took part in a number of outreach activities. They watched a show about Black Holes in the Planetarium Heavens of Copernicus and made scientific experiments in the Copernicus Science Centre. They also took a tour in the SRCPAS labs and they visited the Astronomical Observatory in Ostrowik. In the Observatory the participants experienced Fireplace, puns, guitar, celtic dances lesson and got familiarized with the routine works of training and observation of the Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory.
Results of the ODYSSEUS II Semi-Final, Warsaw 12 – 15 IV 2016
The top team in the Pioneers category was “KOSMICZNI_EKOLODZY”, consisting of Jakub Brach and Radosław Paluch from Świętochłowice, Poland with the project entitled „Śmietnik nad głową”.
The winner in the Exploers category was Jan Jędryszek, student in the Jagielonian University, with the project entitled “Why is the definition of life and life’s origins on Earth important in extraterrestrial research?”
A number of special awards was presented to the following contestants:
In the Pioneers category:
In the Explorer Category:
The judging committee comprised of: Prof. Barbara Popielawska, Prof. Maria Agnieszka Bzowska, Ms Ausma Bruņeniece, Prof. Stanisław Zoła, Prof. Romualda Lazauskaite, Prof. Alexey Pamyatnykh, Dr. Andris Slavinskis and Dr. Magdalena Sroczyńska – Kożuchowska.
Altec and Politecnico di Torino organized the regional finals for Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Malta in Turin at Altec premises. Six Pioneers teams coming from Italy and Croatia participated to the activities. The two Explorers teams from Italy and Croatia as well joined the other contestants in Graz, Austria.
During the two days there were visit opportunities to the Thales Alenia Space facilities, the Altec building and the Turin Polytechnic aerospace laboratories. In particular it was possible to visit the Cygnus module production, the iXV suborbital re-entry vehicle recovered after its mission, mars terrain, mars prototypes, control centres and cubesats.
There were lectures as well as meeting opportunities between students, teachers, space engineers and operators. Face to face discussions were a great chance to enhance the enthusiasm in space activities and exploration. All the students were really engaged with the projects.
All the projects had an excellent quality and all the presentations were extremely professional, especially when considering the age of the participants.
Sara Molinaroli, Linda Benin and Cesare Dal Degan, with their professor Massimo Bubani from Belfiore (Verona – Italy) presented a very beautiful mockup with a robot dedicated to look for habitability zones around stars, an argument of special interest during these days due to new discoveries.
Another project looking for new habitable planets, with a very beautiful presentation, was prepared by Lorena Kerep, Lorena Cvetković and Dominik Filipović, with their teacher Ana Popović, coming from Samobor – Croatia.
Mars was addressed by many projects. Elisabetta Callegaro, Francesco Roana and Giacomo Dal Toso with their teacher Marco Zoso from Valdagno (Vicenza – Italy) prepared a project of a Mars base with a lot of details. They made project tee-shirts as well.
A very special approach was followed by Tamara Rinati, Letizia Paone and Martina Auditore with their teacher Concetta D’Arrigo coming from Santa Teresa di Riva (Messina – Italy). They recorded a television program that was talking about technical discussions assembled with a lot of fun. For Turin’s finals the added a second episode very appreciated by the public.
Luca Cattani, Davide Cattani, Elia Mazzari and their teacher Elena Gabbiani from Piacenza (Italy) decided to place their very detailed base on the Moon. Their presentation provided a lot of information to sort out a big problem: how to make it self-sustaining.
There was another team: the winning one. Giulia Bassani, Nicola Timpano and the teacher Tommaso Marino from Collegno (Torino – Italy) prepared a mock-up and an excellent project presentation for a Mars base. They will show it in the European finals again, with additional refinements as the project is ongoing. In the meantime Giulia is training to become an astronaut.
The organizing team in Turin wishes to all the participant a successful follow on in their space adventures.
The Odysseus regional semi-final for Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania was organised by the Czech Space Office in iQLANDIA Science center in Liberec from 4th April to 8th April 2016. The event featured an extensive hands-on activities programme and excursions when in addition to presenting their project entries in front of a jury, the semi-finalists visited space science-related laboratories, attended lectures, met space professionals and participated in fun-oriented activities with altogether 31 students from the region.
In a very exciting contest of 13 teams, two of the Pioneers teams tied for the first place due to the high quality of their presentations and they both qualified to the International Final.
The University of Graz hosted the regional event for Austria, Germany and Hungary in the Pioneers category and for Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece and Italy in the Explorers category. The team Hibah_977 from India, which toped the first round among non-EU entries, also participated in the regional semi-final for Pioneers.
It was really hard for the jury to select the three top projects (one in the Pioneers and two in the Explorers category), as all the participating projects were excellent. In the Pioneers category, AlphaTeam from Germany, consisting of Alexander Haake and Lukas Mohr qualified to the International Final with the project “Magnet Rocket”.
In the Explorers, Alice Antonelli with the project “Punto di vista orbital” won the first place and qualified to the Final of July. Dimitris Athanasopoulos and Konstantinos Karampelas with the project entitled “Moon Underground: Space Humanity’s Room” were awarded the second place and qualified also to the Final.