The Navonmesh Prasar Student Astronomy Team (NaPSAT), comprising 10 school students, has been selected to participate in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021 scheduled in April. This is happening for the first time in India that a school team has been selected for the NaPSAT challenge. NaPSAT, is an initiative of Bhubaneswar-based Navonmesh Prasar Foundation. It is an interdisciplinary team of space enthusiasts who are engaged in projects ranging from the design of space systems, rovers, rockets, satellites and astronomy to participate in various international events.
Anil Pradhan, founder, Navonmesh Prasar Foundation conveyed that the team was created in the Covid time and identified 10 students from Odisha. Provided them training and later applied for NASA Rover Challenge. The interdisciplinary team has school students as well as ITI students and they are making a rover which can move on the surface of Mars and it would a human-powered rover, and will sent it to NASA. Later got the invitation from NASA and the competition will take place in April 2021. Tanvi Mallick, Class 9 student, who is part of the team said: “I knew about NaPSAT. I decided to try out for this and was selected as well. We have been selected for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021. We are the first team from Odisha to get selected and the first high school student team from India. We are going to Alabama in April 2021 and will represent India in this competition.”