1st in History
Our Young Tinkers made India proud by acquiring the third position in the high school division of NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021. This is for the 1st time in the history that an Indian team was listed in top 3 at NASA HERC. The students who were selected in November 2020, were the first to be selected from India. They took part in the Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021 and acquired the third position while two teams from the USA acquired the first and the second position.
Rover's Name - NaPSAT 1.0
About the Challenge
Each year, the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge features an engineering design challenge to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration. The annual event is a more complex follow-up to the successful NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race. The competition challenges high school and college students to create a vehicle designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world.
NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge aligns with the Artemis mission to return to and explore the Moon by 2024. The competition emphasizes designing, constructing and testing technologies, including tools, mobility devices and traversing in unique environments. The Artemis program will prepare us for the Moon and propel us on to Mars. NASA plans to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, and develop human presence by 2028. Like Artemis, NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge sends one female and one male on the excursion to discover unknown terrains. Lunar science on the surface of the Moon will be conducted by 2024 with polar and nonpolar landers and rovers to explore areas not investigated by Apollo. This student design challenge encourages the next generation of scientists and engineers to aid in the design process by providing innovative designs and unique perspectives. The challenge also continues the agency’s legacy of providing valuable experience to students who, someday, may be responsible for planning future space missions, including crewed missions to other worlds.
The group of 10 students aged between 14 to 19 years were selected to make a rover named NaPSAT 1.0. They got their invitation letter on 6th November 2020 from NASA. This team made history by becoming India’s 1st U-19 interdisciplinary team to be selected for NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021.
These students who formed a team under the guidance of Young Tinker and Navonmesh Prasar Foundation are the first-ever high school team to represent India at the prestigious NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The team used the Young Tinker virtual platform to learn hands-on learning skills during the pandemic.
The rover prepared by the team is capable of traversing on different kinds of terrains. When asked about how the rover is travelling so smoothly over the simulated Martian terrains, the team says that – “It is because of the various innovations they did to make sure the rover works perfectly.”
In one of their innovations, their crank arm system used a 3 gears system instead of the usual 2 gears. They came across this idea when they were researching about the previous rovers of the competition, when they discovered a common problem between them, chain slacking. To solve this frequent problem they came up with this innovative idea.
Another one of the team’s innovation focuses on the steering system. Instead of the usual bars used in the bar-linkage system, they used a triangular plate for proper force distribution. These kinds of innovations really set this determined team apart from the rest. In their presentations with NASA, they were appreciated for these innovations and many more. NASA has also shared a picture of these young innovators’ rover making them even more excited to bring further laurels to the country.
Moreover, the team agrees that not only these 10 students are a part of this journey, but also the other 1.5 lakhs students, which also connected with them through the virtual platform build by them namely www.youngtinker.com.
The spirit of innovation is being fostered in these students through various programs. The team members are also trying their best to spread the word of innovation further.
Team by – Young Tinker and Navonmesh Prasar foundation
Mission Directors – Anil Pradhan, Vaishali Sharma
Student Members – Kailash Chandra Barik, Dati Danda Pani Patra, Kanuri Varshini, Nitesh Patnaik, Rina Bagha, Ankan Mondal, Anjishnu Pattanayak, Shreyansh Vikas Mishra, Tanvi Mallick with Rishikesh Amit Nayak
Mentors – Sunil Pradhan, Amit Panigrahi, Umeswar Ekka, Anurag Behera, Mohan Kumar, Sourav Sarangi
Advisors – Bimal Krushna Mishra, Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Ashesh Padhy, Nanda Mohapatra