Bengaluru: With every passing yr, human beings are more and more making their presence felt in the area and the satellite tv for pc enterprise. But this additionally makes it more imperative to recognize how area works and the way satellites feature. This is the vision that 23-12 months-old entrepreneur Nikhitha C. Had when she co-founded the hit Society for Space Education Research and Development (SSERD), based totally on Bengaluru.

SSD works inside the subject of area schooling and outreach in India and overseas and has trained severa students in subjects related to space.

Nikita is likewise a recipient of the Kalpana Chawla Scholarship Fund provided by the prestigious International Space University (ISU) in Europe. She has been decided on for the coveted Executive Space Course this year.

Space revolution

Nikita graduated with a bachelor’s diploma in aerospace engineering from Alliance University in Bangalore in 2017. In university, she started a space membership in January 2016, in which she taught students topics like model rocketry. Since the membership became such success, Nikhitha turned keen to enlarge it right into a area outreach institution for college kids.

“We have had periodic revolutions during records. This time, it’s the space revolution,” she says. “When the IT revolution came along, it has become vital for each person to realize how to use a computer. To benefit from the area revolution, anyone has to understand and understand the area.”

A 12 months before commencement, she met entrepreneur Sujay Sreedhar, who shared her vision for space training at a conference. They both determined to paintings together on extending the space membership out of doors her university premises. They now actively sought out area education opportunities and commenced accomplishing space camps much like the well-known ones organized by using NASA.

“It expenses several lakhs to attend, and college students miss out on it due to that,” Nikita says. “So we presented a comparable opportunity right here.”

Helping students

The duo set up SSERD as a non-earnings agency in January 2016 and registered it in Kerala; after trying to sign in, Karnataka went nowhere. SSD also regularly acts as a career manual for college students interested in space, so they don’t unknowingly turn out to be with an inappropriate engineering degree simply as it’s the norm.

They’ve also helped college students build very last-year projects for university, including model rockets, remote-managed airplanes, and CanSats — satellites the scale of a soda can, which do not enter orbit but transmit information lower back Earth as they climb up.

“A lot of students tend to assume satellites are clearly big and might be constructed by way of students,” she explained. “We wanted to expose them they can.”

Their training outreach additionally proved very a hit. Three private colleges in Bengaluru signed SSERD as much as teach a new concern, area so that one can be in the curricula from the subsequent educational yr. The organization also works with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which helps underprivileged youngsters gain knowledge of technology and era.

SSD has about two hundred volunteers and 3 different full-time personnel other than co-founders Nikhitha and Sujay. Several volunteers are college students who are still in school or university, and a few are running, while others are researchers or professors.

One of SSERD’s most noteworthy achievements is supporting college students to construct a payload that might be released from a high altitude balloon and measure stratospheric ozone; the scholars submitted a research paper from the findings.

The team is now running on an astrobiology project for a excessive college pupil. Microbes and planets could be taken to a height of 30 km through a high-altitude balloon and uncovered to radiation. Once the organic cloth is returned to Earth, it will be studied for modifications. The challenge is in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics to assist with the launch.

International projects

SSD isn’t restricted to India — one among its student projects was with a college in Africa which wanted to construct a satellite that would climb to over 9 km. Nikita’s team helped layout this satellite tv for pc.

SSD now has an established branch in the Philippines. While preliminary lectures and instructions were used to take vicinity online for approximately 50 humans, the group changed into besieged requests from hundreds of students. So, it installation a crew of teens, first of all, taught with the aid of Nikhitha, who’re now handing over lectures all over the Philippines.

Nepal is next up for the same extension, and The Netherlands is probably in line as well.

Back to analyzing

Nikhil travels the world over for her projects and SSERD’s space training, often handing over lectures at colleges and colleges. At one such lecture, Nikhitha encountered folks that helped make a choice that might lead her back to school.

“I was invited by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) to Mauritius ultimate December to teach space technology to students there,” she stated. The SGAC is a international, non-governmental, non-profit corporation, running as a part of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications to encompass younger area expert representatives in enterprise and the UN.

While in Mauritius, Nikhitha was encouraged by other global attendees to apply for the Executive Space Course at the International Space University. It’s a nine-week summer govt programme for humans running in the space quarter. The institute is funded and supported with the aid of the likes of the European Commission, the authorities of Estonia, the French Air Force, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, the European Space Agency, NASA, or even the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO.

The direction takes region at a distinctive university in Europe every 12 months and is in France this 12 months. It covers space technological know-how, coverage, entrepreneurship, engineering, arts (like cinematography), and more, with a international intake of one hundred students per batch. Students come from numerous backgrounds, which include finance, regulation, advertising and marketing, and so forth., and have a applicable degree.

Nikita additionally acquired the Dr. Kalpana Chawla scholarship fund, which the ISU awards to at least one girl pupil from India every 12 months — this year, for a alternate, the scholarship is split among two applicants: Nikhitha and Aditi Nilvarna from Mumbai. The scholarship was set up to develop strong technical and area leadership features in gifted Indian women.

“We’ll have commonplace guides for the first 3 weeks,” Nikhitha explained. “The next three are specialisations, and the last three are while we’ll do a undertaking.”

The future

Nikita has masses of plans for the nonetheless-bootstrapped SSERD once she’s achieved the course. The Kerala authorities have expressed interest in which includes space as part of a few faculties’ curricula, and they are also hoping to release space clubs in tier-2 and tier-3 towns to increase outreach to individuals who gained’t in any other case be exposed to the area technological know-how and technology.