The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected 10 school students group named the Navonmesh Prasar Student Astronomy Team (NaPSAT)from Odisha to take part in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021. The program will start in April next year.

NaPSAT is an initiative of the Navonmesh Prasar Foundation, which has its base in Bhubaneswar. It comprises space enthusiasts working on projects related to space systems, rockets, rovers, satellites and astronomy on international level.

According to Navonmesh Prasar Foundation founder Anil Pradhan, the NASA has selected a school team from India for the first time in history for such a challenge.

“It is happening for the first time that a school team from India has been selected to participate in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. We created a team during COVID time and identified 10 students from Odisha. We provided them training and later applied for NASA Rover Challenge. The interdisciplinary team has school students as well as ITI students. They are making a rover which can move on the surface of Mars and it would a human-powered rover,” Pradhan told news agency ANI.

“We got the invitation from NASA and the event will take place in April 2021. We are preparing a rover and will send it to NASA. We will go there and compete with other teams. We are also raising funds,” he added.

Class 9 student Tanvi Mallick, who is part of the team, shared the details as saying: “We are going to Alabama in April 2021 and will represent India in this competition.”