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Next stop: Mars!

NASA hopes to send a manned mission to Mars within the next few decades, and one California 12-year-old has designed a ship that could help them do it.

Posted: Nov. 13, 2017 11:34 AM

(WESH) A 12-year-old California boy has won a nationwide competition with a space ship he designed, and as a reward, he got to present it to a panel at the Kennedy Space Center.

Dane Soaper presented his design to a panel that included a space engineer and an astronaut. The competition was designed for kids around middle school age and used excitement about going deep into space to get them to start pursuing science and engineering careers.

One of the big features of Dane's ship is a gravitational ring.

"The gravitational ring allows an artificial gravity like earth so you can keep your bones strong. You can do all the daily needs like you do on earth," said Soaper.

Seeing the ideas the kids had helped some engineers realize they might be worth looking into a little more.

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