This Chennai boy is marking a ‘space’ of his own

His peers are indulging in films and cricket as the summer vacation has started. But Chennai lad, 13-year-old S Sudarshan, is prepping up to participate in the International Space Development Conference, to be held next month in Toronto, after winning the first place in the Roadmap to Space Settlement Art Contest (RSSAC) for the 8th grade students, conducted by the National Space Society , US. But that’s not the only feat this student of Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Mylapore, has achieved of late. A week ago, he was also announced as one of the winners of the NASA Ames Space Settlement 2014 Contest. For this whiz kid, dabbling in telescopes and 3D computer graphic software are the favourite pastime. Both the contests had students from across the world participating. The RSSAC was a designing competition where students were asked to prepare and submit a 3D model of a settlement on Mars.”The design is all about people working and living a normal life on Mars. Using the software Blender, and a graphic tool called CrazyBump, I made the design. The buildings in the design resemble hexagonal cells that tend to provide greater strength in case of any natural calamities. These buildings also have solar panels that are supposed to provide the necessary power needed to keep the city functioning on Mars,” explains Sudarshan. About the report submitted to NASA that won him the second prize among participants of the 8th grade around the globe, Sudarshan says, “It explains how minerals can be extracted from space and sent to earth. If that is successfully carried out, it will also help put an end to mining on earth and make it a greener planet. My interactions with Professor Dr T Asokan at IIT Madras on the general concepts on the subject also helped me develop this work.” So, how does this young boy manage to juggle academics and his interest in space? “These are all late-night work, especially done during weekends,” replies Sudarshan and adds, “While the report took me almost a month’s time to complete, I finished the design for the contest in just two weeks’ time. My school teachers and parents (Dr Sreeram and Shanthi), too, have been very supportive of my interest in space.” Ask Sudarshan’s father about his son’s interest in space, and he says, “It’s a routine for him to watch the sky at night. When I got him a telescope two years ago, that further boosted his interest in space. With organizations like Indian Space Research Organisation ( ISRO) here and success stories like that of Mangalyaan, there is a good future for youngsters in space sciences in India.”

Leave Your Comment

Your email will not be published or shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>