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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Students to race on the 'moon'

Karishma Venkiteswaran, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 08, 2013
First Published: 03:02 IST(8/4/2013) | Last Updated: 03:04 IST(8/4/2013)

As people around him plan outings with family and friends over the summer vacations, Sagar Vora, 20, has bigger plans. He is gearing up to fly with NASA.

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The third-year MBA (technical and telecommunication) student from NMIMS' Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering, Vile Parle is participating in the 20th Annual NASA moon buggy race to be held between April 25 and April 27 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA at the US Space and Rocket Centre.

In its 20th year, the event puts school and college students to the test by asking them to design and manoeuvre a moon buggy across hurdles similar to the ones faced by the original NASA moon buggy team.

Vora is among the five students of Team India Technovators, chosen by his college after a rigorous selection procedure.

Having bagged the award for the best international team in 2011, Sawankumar Naik, faculty advisor and mentor for the project, hopes this year's team manages to win the event.

"The students have devised an innovative telemetry system strategy with real time monitoring, damage prevention and control to cover the loopholes of last year's buggy. I am sure they will win laurels for the college and the country this time," said Naik, who has been guiding the college's teams since it started participating in the event four years ago.

Karan Shah, the team leader, added, "This year's design is different as inputs have been taken from people in the heavy manufacturing industry. The buggy is a mixture of a car, motorbike and a cycle."

Team India Technovators has been working on the project since last November. "We often stayed up through the night working in our workshop to ensure we finish our individual tasks on time," said Sagar, who participated in the event last year too. "We wanted to make a model better than last year's buggy and we have achieved it."

With preparations completed, the team's excitement is palpable. "I never thought I will represent India at NASA before graduating. It is more than a dream," says Palak Nyati, a team member.


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