BENGALURU: In a bid to create awareness about space missions among school children, Bengaluru-based Team Indus Foundation, has launched ‘Moonshot Wheels’, a bus which will travel across India reaching out to children in government schools. The journey was flagged off by business tycoon Ratan Tata here on Tuesday.
The Team Indus Foundation is a subsidiary of Team Indus, which is one of the five teams across the world shortlisted for Google Lunar XPRIZE. The Google contest requires privately funded teams to land a spacecraft on the moon by December 2017.
The bus will travel to nine states in a span of 12 months, reaching out to thousands of students. The bus will carry 16 science experiments, spacecraft scaled model, satellite tracking, moon rover and an experience zone. Children will get a feel of the lunar surface, they will be able to visualise the satellites passing above them, said Priyanka Narayan, chief functionary, Team Indus Foundation, speaking to reporters here on Tuesday. The experiments will be explained in the local language by the trainers for the benefit of students, she added.
At the end of each trip to a particular school, there will be a quiz and a snap shot will be taken of the child who performed the best, with the child’s aspiration and the principal’s signature written on the back. These snapshots will be taken along with Indus’ Moon mission.
As part of this programme, children will not only get to learn about these technologies but will also get to interact with scientists.
The states covered include Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu.
Team Indus Foundation has conceptualised Moonshot Wheels under ‘Har Indian Ka Moon Shot’ campaign, which looks at bringing every Indian on board the private Moon Mission.
In 2016, the team had launched Lab2Moon, a competition for youngsters in the age group of 14 and 25 to build a project that would catalyse the evolution of mankind as a sustainable multi-planetary species. While this was focused on students who were tech-savvy, the current programme looks at reaching out to children at the grassroot level, enthusing them to learn about space technology.
As many as 3,000 teams participated in the competition out of which 25 teams have been selected for the final round.
Five of these projects will finally get to be on-board the space mission.
Some of the projects selected for the final round include electrocoagulation water recycling, brewing beer on moon using yeast, plant growth experiment and production of oxygen using photo bioreactor.