BHUBANESWAR: Swagat Das, a Class X student of St Vincent's Convent High School, Balasore,has bagged a prize in the Nasa Ames Space Settlement Design Contest 2014.
He had presented a futuristic project 'Axius- a journey to the unknown' to set up a space settlement in Titan - the largest Moon of Saturn.
"My project bagged the first prize in Grade 10. It is a big honour for me and I have got an invitation to attend the 33rd International Space Development Conference-2014 to be held in California," said an excited Das, who is busy preparing a poster to be presented at a competition there.
Das said, "My space settlement idea on Titan is feasible because the subsurface of the Saturn's moon has water-ammonia solution in which life can be sustained. But many other things like very low temperature and extreme terrestrial standards have to be studied further."
This year, Nasa has received 562 entries from 1,567 students from 18 countries. This annual contest, co-sponsored by Nasa Ames and the National Space Society (NSS), is for students from Grade 7 to Grade 12 from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six or more are judged separately.
"The Nasa Space Settlement Contest has continued to benefit the global public for almost 20 years. The opportunity to participate in the contest has enabled students to become involved in their own projects and in STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics - pursuits," the Nasa website says.
Swagat's father Satyajit Barik is a lecturer in mathematics in Soro College while his mother Bijaylaxmi Barik is a homemaker. Swagat has also won several awards in various science conferences including Initiative for Research and Innovations in Science (IRIS)-2013 and 20th National Children's Science Congress. He has a fellowship from the department of science and technology and has done an internship at IIT-Kharagpur. Source: TOI