Indian, Pakistani students excited about winning space competition

February 2nd, 2010 - 5:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) It was like a dream come true for Sara Afzal, a student of class 11 from Lahore, when her team won the Asia Space Settlement Design Competition defeating 15 other teams with their innovative design to settle over 10,000 people in a city in space in 2055.
Sara is part of a group of 36 children from India and Pakistan who will join 12 other finalist teams from around the world in July this year to compete at the 16th Annual International Space Settlement Design Competition at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am that our team has been adjudged winner in Asia. It’s recognition of our hard work that we have put in the last six months. We worked for 18 to 22 hours in a day while preparing for the initial project,” said Sara, a student of Lahore Grammar School.

US ambassador Timothy J.Roemer Tuesday met the students and lauded their efforts.

“This group of Indian and Pakistani students are together designing the future of our civilization - one with few limitations of geographical boundaries,” said Roemer.

The competition was organised by US Space agency NASA and Boeing.

The students were asked to present their ideas based on which three teams - Amity International School in Saket, Lahore Grammar School and Little Flowers School in Hyderabad - were selected for the next round.

“All the three teams were invited to Gurgaon and were randomly given proposals on space settlement. The students were given 21 hours to come out with their proposals and Amity School and Lahore Grammar School won the competition,” said B.P Pandey, guide of Amity School.

An excited Palash Gupta, a class 11 student of Amity school, said: “We were given a project to make a mobile space settlement between Earth and Mars. We were divided into five groups - structure planning, operations, human engineering, automation and marketing. It was a tough task but real fun and we worked as a team to provide a winning solution.”

The students have already started preparing for the final test and are hopeful to win the competition.

“We have started our research for the final competition although the topic will be given randomly but we should know the properties of various planets and how we can construct our city with all modern facilities anywhere in space,” said Sanjana Mohan, another student.

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