Chennai boy grabbed the second prize in the grade 12 category in the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest, 2017.
18-year-old Sai Kiran P proposed a project on connecting the Earth to the Moon through elevators for making a human settlement possible on the Moon.
NASA Ames Research Centre, San Jose State University and the National Space Society (NSS) organised an annual contest, they invited entries around the world from students up to 12th grade. The agenda of the contest was to design human settlements on the Moon.
He started working on this project in 2013 when he was in Singapore. Last year, in March he started writing a thesis on the subject after he moved to Chennai. Sai’s proposal titled “Connecting Moon, Earth and Space” and “HUMEIU space Habitats” which revolved around providing bases for humans to be transported to the Moon so that they can settle there.
He mentioned the most important feature of the theories was centripetal acceleration. “The first segment of the project is about creating elevators that could transport humans and cargo to the Moon so that humans can form their settlements there. The most important aspect was that of gravity as, without gravity, humans won’t be able to settle there.”
Sai said besides transporting humans to the Moon, his thesis also contained proposals for setting up pastime, agriculture, entertainment, governance on the Moon.
The main highlighting point of his thesis was the cost inefficiency associated with sending humans to the Moon through rockets. He said, “Since it is not economically viable, the only other way is to have faultless elevators connecting the Earth to the Moon, which will span a height of 40,000kms.”
He asserted that the design could be lunar-based or earth-based elevators.
While Sai Kiran was announced as the second winner of the contest, a student from British International School grabbed the first place.