Indian student lands ‘Moon’ prize
A 18 year student from Chennai has landed the NASA ‘Moon’ prize for proposing a novel idea on how to connect Moon and Earth and how humans as well as goods can be transported to and fro.
The idea was proposed by Sai Kiran, a student of the British International School, as part of a contest conducted by NASA Ames Research Center, San jose State University, and the National Space Society (NSS) wherein entries from students up to 12th grade are considered.
Kiran was ecstatic to be awarded the first runner-up prize by Al Globus, senior researcher at NSS who also co-founded the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest. His project is titled ‘Connecting Moon, Earth and Space’ and ‘HUMEIU Space Habitats’ revolved around providing base for humans to be transported to moon in order to settle on the Moon. Till now, interplanetary travel can only commence in sci-fi motion pictures. But Sai Kiran has worked on making it a reality.
Kiran has been working on the project since 2013, back when he resided in Singapore. After moving to Chennai, he began writing the thesis. His thesis cites proposals of setting up recreation, entertainment, governance, agriculture on the moon apart from just transporting humans to the Moon. He claims that the most important observation of his theory is the centripetal acceleration.
The young researcher points out that it is not economically viable to transport goods and humans to and from the Moon through rockets. He proposes using elevators as long as 40,000 kms and says that the design could either be Lunar-based or Earth-based but a thorough research has to be completed before either of them is implemented.
Why an elevator? His idea resonates with the fact that it can minimize monetary costs incurred in sending humans to space in rockets. The first segment of his project revolves around creating elevators that could transport humans and cargo to the Moon.