10 school students from Odisha selected for NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021


The Navonmesh Prasar Student Astronomy Team (NaPSAT) consisting of 10 school students was selected to participate in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021 which is scheduled to be held in April, 2021. NaPSAT is an initiative of the Bhubaneswar-based Navonmesh Prasar Foundation. It is a team of space enthusiasts from cross-practices to engage in various projects to participate in various international events ranging from the construction of space systems, rovers, rockets, satellites and astronomy.

The founder of Navonmesh Prasar Foundation, Mr.Anil Pradhan had said to ANI that it is the first time that an Indian school team has been chosen for this competition.

In his statement to ANI, He added that during the COVID-19 lockdown of the year, they had formed a team and identified 10 Odisha students who were trained vigorously. They have now qualified for the NASA Rover Challenge. He also added that the dynamic team has students from school as well as students from ITI. They are already on the process of making a rover operated by humans that can travel on the Martian surface. He also said that they are in the fund-raising for the project and also have received NASA’s invitation for the event which is scheduled to take place in April 2021.

Tanvi Mallick who is a class 9 student and a part of the team said to ANI that she knew about NaPSAT and she wanted to try and compete for the competition and was also selected for this. She also added that they are the first Odisha team and the first Indian high school student team to be selected and they will be going to Alabama in the United States in April 2021 representing India in the process.

Another team member Ankan Mondal said that their rover can bear the weight of two people when traveling on Mars and moon terrains when he was specifying about the technicalities of the rover.