The winners of the Noosphere Space Games virtual rocket modeling competition.

Last Saturday, the Noosphere Space Games virtual rocket modeling competition was held under the joint organization of the NGO “Association Noosphere”, co-founded by Max Polyakov, a Ukrainian businessman with experience in the field of space, IT technologies and engineering, and Spacemodelling Sport Federation of Ukraine.

The winners were determined on August 20. The kids assembled virtual rockets in Kerbal Space Program, launched a satellite into orbit, and returned the pilot unharmed to Kerbin.


148 teams competed for a prize fund of 1,000 USD, and participation in the competition was free. More than 350 children from Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Poltava, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Lviv, Cherkasy, Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Zakarpattia regions joined the Noosphere Space Games.


The Kerbal Space Program takes into account almost all factors affecting the launch of space rockets. Participants had to consider air resistance, spacecraft mass, fuel consumption, gravity, atmospheric drag, and many other technological variables. Competitors had access to a large catalog of parts to build a fully functional spacecraft that flies using realistic aerodynamic and orbital physics.

The goal of the competition was not only to complete the mission but also to make the virtual rocket competitive. The teams that spent the least amount of virtual currency on building won.

«”I am amazed that we succeeded! In a few hours, we built a space rocket that was able to go into orbit. Over the course of two weeks, we refined it and even ditched the heat shield to make the design cheaper. We used both solid fuel and liquid engines. The mission was successful!” – a member of the Ukrainian Aerospace team.


Competition winners:

1st place – Ukrainian Aerospace team, Kyiv. Alexander Andersen-Shevchenko and Ilya Pentyuk. $500 prize.

2nd place – team “Yggdrasil”, Cherkasy. Max Kusiak and Daniil Ivanov. $300 prize.

3rd place Spacekids team, Cherkasy. Artem Leshchenko, Anna Rudnytska, Kateryna Rudnytska. $200 prize.

“It was very unexpected because before the competition we didn’t even know about Kerbal Space Program. Advice to the participants for the future – choose cheaper parts and calculate the amount of fuel,” says a member of the Yggdrasil team, which took second place.


Most of the children had never assembled virtual rockets in Kerbal Space Program and had no knowledge and skills in rocket modeling. However, they really enjoyed discovering new things and gaining knowledge playfully.

“Before the competition, no one in our group assembled virtual rockets. And now the children are sitting and eagerly smashing them on the ground, learning to fly. The aim of rocket modelers is very straightforward, to fall and take off again! And also the opportunity to win a prize,” says Olha Shibka, head of the Astronomy and Information Technology group of Dnipro City Station of Young Technicians.

The teams showed their creativity and built various rockets:

«“In Kerbal Space Program, participants were able to build a spaceship quite realistically. At the same time, it was necessary to take into account a number of factors such as the laws of physics and aerodynamics, as well as staying within the rules of the competition. It was very interesting to see the projects! The teams that completed the mission tasks with the minimum budget won, so the children had to look for creative ways to optimize costs,” says the General Secretary of the Federation of Spacemodelling Sport Federation of Ukraine, Denys Khmyl.

“Noosphere Space Games made a successful debut in Ukraine. We gathered a lot of participants and believe that we were able to interest them in space technologies. Perhaps participation in such competitions will inspire children to become engineers, scientists, and specialists in the aerospace industry.

Competitions like Noosphere Space Games already exist in the USA, so we adopted their successful experience. Last year, The American Rocketry Challenge held its second Kerbal Space Program competition, the task was to build a Mun (Moon) base. We decided that our mission will be to launch a satellite,” says Olha Zyma, head of social projects of NGO “Association Noosphere.