| Susant Patnaik has found recognition in Nasa-Ames Space Settlement Design Contest 2011 with his model ‘Dhara Rakshak’. Telegraph picture |
Bhubaneswar, April 17: If the tanker-sized meteor, which threatens to annihilate the earth in 2036, misses the rendezvous thank Susant Patnaik. This Class XII student of DAV Public School (Unit – 8), along with six others, has come up with a plan to deflect the extraterrestrial body from its path through laser ablation.
Named ‘Dhara Rakshak’ or protector of earth, the project has found ‘honourable mention’ in the Nasa-Ames Space Settlement Design Contest 2011. This annual competition, co-sponsored by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa)-Ames and the National Space Society, USA, is for students from Classes VI to XII from anywhere in the world. This year, a total of 355 entries from 1078 students had poured in from 15 countries and the results were announced last Friday.
“It feels great to be part of the winners’ list. We had done a lot of research work and spent almost five to six months on this project. Our certificates will reach us by the end of this week,” said Susant, beaming with pride.
Incidentally, Susant represented the Punjab Space Technology team in this international contest, teaming up with Mayank Walia, a budding scientist from Punjab, and five others. “Since all of us belonged to different states, we had to coordinate our project through email and Facebook. Each was assigned different tasks; I looked after the technical aspect,” said Susant. The blueprint evolved after much hard work, including several sleep-deprived nights as this teenage wizard had to balance preparations for his class XII board exams along with the project.
Earlier, Susant had shot into the limelight with his invention, Susant’s Breathing Sensor Apparatus, for people with disabilities. The device is attached with a breath sensor and enables them to communicate by converting their breath into electromagnetic energy. President Pratibha Patil and former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had felicitated Susant for the innovation.
The team is now working on the video animation of Dhara Rakshak, the cost of which is estimated to cost around 77 billion dollars. “Of course, we cannot make a working prototype of the model. Neither, do we have the money nor can we create laser beams. We have only proved it theoretically. Nasa would create the model which could take more than 20 years,” he added. Susant and his six teammates would be visiting Nasa in the second week of May to interact with the scientists. He said he would also try to secure collaboration for ‘Scientific Innovation Foundation’, an organisation that he has founded for budding scientists across the globe to exchange ideas.