Congratulations to the 2017 Pioneers and Explorers winners and to all Odysseus finalists!

Odysseus II Contest celebrated the closing of the second cycle of competition for the Pioneers and Explorers categories with a great final event. This year’s Odysseus final and awards ceremony took place at the Cite de l’espace in Toulouse, France, between 4 and 7 of July.

During these four days 35 participants (25 Pioneers and 10 Explorers, who qualified to the final after two rounds of selection at national and regional level), plus teachers and members of their families from 11 countries, participated in many educational activities focusing on space and science, had fun and made new friends, while they met with scientists and experts on space and had the chance to demonstrate their abilities and enthusiasm for space.

Visiting SAE-Supaéro

Observing Jupiter

The finalists were also welcomed in Cite de l’espace by Mr Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission and other officials including Mr Jean-Luc Moudenc, Mayor of Toulouse and Mr Jean-Yves Le Gall President of CNES (National Space Agency of France) and among other things they had the chance to visit the renowned engineering school of aeronautics and space SAE-Supaéro.

The 2017 Odysseus Finalists with the Vice President of the European Commission, the President of CNES, the Head of the French Meteorological Service, the Mayor of Toulouse and other officials in Cite de l’espace

The entries presented in the final impressed the Jury panel, which consisted of distinguished scientists, experts, space industry representatives and an astronaut.   All judges praised the quality of the projects, as well as the dedication, hard work, enthusiasm and attention to detail of all finalists and admitted that it was really hard to select the top entries.

The Jury Panel, from left to right Dr Manolis Georgoulis, Dr Jan Kolar, Dr Gil Denis, Mr Michel Maignan, Dr Claudie Haignere and Mr Daniel Hernandez

With so many excellent projects the selection of the winners was a hard job

They also noticed that the knowledge as well as the communication and problem solving skills that the finalists demonstrated during the final were amazing and are certainly a solid foundation for a career in science and in space.

Many teams displayed great gadgets and unique ideas for space exploration.

At our awards ceremony at the Cite de l’espace on Friday 7 July, the three top projects per category were announced and all finalists were presented with their prizes and telescopes for winning the Regional semi-finals.

Family photo of the 2017 Odysseus Finalists with members of the Jury Panel and the Odysseus contest team

In the Pioneers category the top team and winner of the first prize for 2017 was the Team Tumbleweed consisting of Moritz Stephan, Stefan Rietzinger and Julian Rothenbuchner with teacher Mr Markus Holler, from the Sir Karl Popper School, in Vienna, Austria.

Moritz, Stefan and Julian winners of the Grand Prize in the Pioneers category with their teacher Mag. Josef Pürmayr

Second was the team Team AstroVianu from Tudor Vianu National High School, in Bucharest, Romania with Monica Dobrinou and Andreea Zaharia with teacher Ms Ioana Stoica.

In the third place was the team Plan B from the Zanneio Experimental Lyceum, Piraeus, Greece, consisting of Andreas Vatistas, Athanasios Vasilainas and Giorgos Kalpaxis with their teacher Mr Sotirios Tsantilas.

In addition the Jury presented the following special recognition awards:

  • Award for Technical Merit to the team Plan B from the Zanneio Experimental Lyceum Greece, for their project “Exoplanet Pursuit”
  • Award for the Most Promising Project, to the team Planet Hunters (Guilhem Chambaud, Valentine Ducatteau and Emma Voican with the teacher Mr Sylvain Bonnafous) from the Collège Antoine Courrière, Cuxac-cabardès, France , for the project “Une exoplanète dans mon collège”
  • Award for Thinking out of the Box, to the team Laertiadae classis (Linda Raimondo from Liceo scientifico Norberto Rosa and Francesco Maio from Liceo scientifico Alessandro Volta, and their teacher Ms Maura Bruno) with the project “Journey to Gusev”
  • Award for Social Relevance, to the Astromisie team, from Wroclaw, Poland (Maciej Ciszewski, Cezary Troska, Piotr Moska and their teacher Mr Tomasz Andreasik) for the project entitled “Top non-technical challenges of long space flights”.
  • Award for Scientific Rigor, to the Team AstroVianu from Tudor Vianu National High School, in Bucharest, Romania for the project “Astroplants”.

“Thinking Out of the Box”

Out of the Box Thinking about Architecture on Mars

In the Explorers category the winners of the Grand Prize of the 2017 Odysseus Contest were Catarina Alves and Tomás Silva, students at the University of Porto, Portugal.

Catarina and Tomás, 2017 Winners of the Grand Prize in the Explorers Category

In the second place honors was Aleksander Knutsen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.

Daniel Movilla student at the ”Gh. Asachi” Technical University, Iași, Romania, won third place honors.

The Jury also presented special recognition awards to the following students:

  • Award for Scientific Rigor to Aleksander Knutsen for the project “High-altitude balloons on Mars”
  • Award for Inspiring Technology to Sara Berent and Robert Gordon from Glasgow University, United Kingdom for the project “The SAROBI TITAN Mission”
  • Award for Thinking out of the Box to Daniel Movilla for the project “3D Printed Mars”