Odisha Students Create History; Win Laurels at NASA Rover Challenge 2021
A team of school students from Odisha, under the aegis of Navonmesh Prasar Student Astronomy Team (NaPSAT), has brought pride to their state after bagging the third prize in the High School division of NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021. With this achievement, they carved their names in history as the first Indian representation to win the Rover Challenge since its inception.
The team, comprising of ten students from 42 Mouza in the Cuttack district, was selected in November 2020. The entire event took place online owing to the pandemic. While they acquired the third position, the first and the runners up position was awarded to US students who had also participated in the competition.
The NaPSAT is an initiative by the Navonmesh Prasar Foundation to involve young enthusiasts and talents in building space projects, satellite systems, rovers, rockets, and the like.
Their achievement did not go unnoticed as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took to Twitter to congratulate the team. He mentioned that their achievement had put the institution on the global radar and was a source of motivation for others to engage in this field. “Congratulate NaPSAT for winning laurels for Odisha by securing the third position in NASA Rover Challenge. This stellar achievement puts the institute on the global map and will inspire more budding scientists & innovators. Best wishes for the future,” he wrote.
The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is an annual design event that seeks to bring forward innovative and disruptive ideas in the field of space science, and particularly, deployable systems such as rovers. It also seeks to develop technology for future crewed missions to other worlds. The competition is open to students from high school and colleges worldwide.