“There is a lot of green, the fields, the red of mountains merging into the white of the snow ... India is beautiful to view from outer space ,” said celebrated NASA astronaut, Sunita Williams, currently stationed at the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA’s space programme.
Sunita was speaking to about 60 excited students from various parts of the country assembled at the American Center at the Kasturba Gandhi Marg in the Capital on Wednesday night.
These students were interacting with the scientist of Indian origin. Sunita showed poise in fielding questions by the students. “This is my first time in outer space.
I would definitely want to go there again, but I don’t want to live forever out here. I will miss all the wonderful things that we have back on Earth, including the people and relationships” she told Vignan Pattamatta, a 17-year-old from Hyderabad.
“From here, we are able to identify the different problem areas in the environment and get an insight as to how to save our planet. Space is a great avenue where people from diffrent backgrounds can work together,” said the Indian-American astronaut.
The students assembled had competed in the International Space Settlement Design Competition conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The prestigious competition has brilliant minds from all over the globe competing for the grand finale — a chance to go to the NASA headquarters and actively take part in designing a space colony along with the scientists there.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Sahil Arora, a first-year engineering student from Panjab University, acting as advisor to the seven-member team from Patiala, said, “The competition was about designing a colony for more than 10,000 people on the surface of the moon. We hope to win and go to NASA.” Ratanraj, who is from the Apeejay School in Jalandhar, said that after having worked on the space settlement project for several months, he and his fellow participants were eager to know about the actual life at a space station.
"Our students have learnt various lessons from Sunita and they will be included in our projects. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with her. It will help in developing our projects further," said Emmanuel, another member of the Jalandhar team.