Six students from India will travel to the United States next week to compete in the NASA Rover Challenge 2023. Students who have yet to leave their villages are preparing to travel to the American agency’s space and rocket centre in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
The students, aged 14 to 18 were chosen from children’s homes, remote villages, and cities across India to compete in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2023. These children came from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds across India and were mentored by the Odisha-based Young Tinker Educational Foundation (formerly Navonmesh Prasar Foundation). Their team is one of 61 teams chosen from around the globe.
Siddhanth Ghosh is from Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh’s Chittineni Akarsh, Andhra Pradesh’s Sai Akshara Vemuri, and Odisha’s Basudeba Bhoi, Akanksha Das, and Om Padhi.
They have created a rover capable of exploring the surface of Mars and the Moon and returning data and pictures. Their team will journey to Huntsville, Alabama on April 14 to represent India at the international level.
“Interview was done across India, five thousand plus students participated in the interview, and six students selected from them for Nasa rover challenge for India,” stated Akanksha Das, who lives in an orphanage and studies at government ITI Bhubaneswar. We submitted a proposal to Nasa, which was approved, and we followed all of the guidelines. We designed a small Rover. In the previous edition, we were ranked third in the world; this year, we expect to be ranked first.”
Om Padhi, who lives in a children’s home, stated that the shelter staff assisted her.
“The people at the orphanage help me develop my talent. They were always trying to provide for me, whether it was my education or my scientific curiosity. They learned about the NASA initiative and brought me to meet Anil, sir. I gave an interview and was chosen,” Om Padhi said.
Anil Pradhan is the team’s mentor and the creator of the Young Tinker Educational Foundation.