As 2019 comes to an end it’s time to make the annual wrap-up. Each year we set great goals and reach to achieve them. For us, the best gift is the realization of everything we had planned at the beginning of the year.
In 2019 we hosted new events, set new records, forged new partnerships and met a lot of new people who have shared our belief in the power of Noosphere.
The pioneering event of 2019 was Firefly International Rocketry Event (or “FIRE”) which took place at Firefly’s test site in Briggs, Texas. It was a match-type amateur rocketry competition between American and Ukrainian Spacemodelling teams. The event was a joint organization among Noosphere, Firefly Aerospace, Ukrainian Spacemodelling Sports Federation, and National Rocketry Association of USA.
Noosphere Space Summit
The next event from Noosphere gathered the world’s greatest spacecraft minds together. Noosphere Space Summit took place in Kyiv. It was held in honour of Yuri Kondratyuk — the famous Ukrainian engineer and creator of lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR). LOR was used to plot Apollo 11, first manned spaceflight to the Moon in 1969. The speakers of the Summit addressed the issues of old space and new space, and also shared their inspirational stories.
Noosphere continues discovering engineering talents and startups at the Vernadsky Challenge. This year’s contest had some changes. Firstly, it was hosted as a part of Noosphere Space Summit. Secondly, we accepted applications only in two sectors: Space Technologies and Active Bioelectronics. We received nearly 80 applications worldwide. 10 finalists competed for the prize pool in 2 mln UAH and it was divided between 3 winners: 1st place – Esper Bionics, 2nd place – MyDraco, 3rd place – Impulsar project.
Noosphere Space Art Challenge
A new contest from Noosphere for the youngest minds. Every child aged 3-17 could draw their dream of future Space Holidays and participate in the Noosphere Space Art Challenge. We received 7427 drawings from young talents from all over Ukraine. 100 drawings were part of the exhibition at Noosphere Space Summit. Finally, there were 9 winners who received great prizes from Noosphere. Additionally, some of the drawings will be DREAM payloads as rideshare participants on the inaugural flight of the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle.
Ukraine Rocketry Challenge
Another rocketry competition took place in Ukraine on 11-12 May. Ukraine Rocketry Challenge invites young space and rocketry enthusiasts to perform two flights using eggs as a fragile payload. The event was organized for the second time and aims to educate youth in the aerospace sector and to unleash its potential. This year, only the prizewinners of the competition successfully performed two flights returning the fragile payload undamaged.
The autumn events were record-setting. The first was set at the tech festival BestRoboFest: 106 teams and 49 individual participants joined the robotics competitions, and 29 of them took medals. In order to develop robotics in remote regions of Ukraine, Noosphere also spread $2000 worth of grand prizes among 3 robotics schools from various regions of Ukraine. Another unique draw of the festival was BestRoboFashion, a robotics suit fashion contest, which drew the youngest fashion minds of Dnipro. The highlight of the expozone was the famous space exhibition – Kids on the Moon.
NASA Space Apps Challenge
The third Space Apps Challenge organized by Noosphere in Dnipro was also a record one. We received 200 registrations from Dnipro, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, and Zhytomyr. In total, there were 28 teams. There was also a team entirely made up of children aged 12-14. This demonstrates how Noosphere encourages children to explore space technology. Two projects were chosen by judges to compete globally.
Later in the fall of 2019, Noosphere Engineering School hosted another space event – Star Track. The event brought together 75 participants from Dnipro, Kyiv and Kharkiv who united in 21 teams. All the participants received great swag from Noosphere and the winners divided the prize pool of 25 000 UAH.
2019 was also marked with sports events from Noosphere. Over 15 teams from 40 IT companies joined Noosphere Volleyball IT Cup. More than 36 teams from 40 IT companies participated in Noosphere Volley Beach IT Cup. And 10 teams competed for the best Basketball IT team at Noosphere Basketball 3×3 IT Cup.
In January 2019, “Association Noosphere” Chairman Michael Ryabokon and Zhytomyr National Agroecological University Rector Oleg Skydan entered into an agreement. As a result of this partnership, the official opening of another Noosphere Engineering School took place on November 28.
In June, Noosphere, Firefly Aerospace Ukraine, Dnipro National University and Kyiv Polytechnic Institute signed an agreement in order to boost the Ukrainian rocketry industry. Under this agreement, each party must create a dual education environment for engineers and rocket scientists in Ukraine.
In early summer, Noosphere together with Dniprovskiy National University (named after Oles Gonchar) started the renovation of Gagarin Park. We have already finished the first part of the park improvement work: rejuvenating green spaces, rebuilding the park’s trails and lighting, installing benches, trash cans and wi-fi connections. In 2020, we will continue the improvement of the park.
In September, Noosphere has joined the Ukrainian Engineering Week initiative. This initiative gives an opportunity for schools to transform their classrooms into makers and research laboratories in 2020. Students can then try their hands as engineers and experience science at their fingertips.
In October, “Association Noosphere” Chairman Michael Ryabokon and the Deputy Director-General of the International Exhibition Centre Ivan Tkachenko signed a Memorandum of Cooperation and Partnership. The key point of cooperation is the organization of the 2020 Noosphere Space Summit in tandem with the International Aviation and Space Salon Aviasvit XXI.
In November, Noosphere coordinated with NATO to organize an international conference, “Advanced Training Response to Conflict and Security Challenges in Eastern Ukraine,” in Dnipro. One of the goals of the conference was to develop a training template for other NATO partner countries to implement in current and future conflicts.
Later in November, “Association Noosphere” became a strategic partner of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration in organizing the upcoming Dnipro Economy Forum-2020.