The city students have made Mumbaiites proud after winning the “best international team award” in a competition to design moonbuggies held at the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) centre. A race was also held, the results of which will be announced later. A moonbuggy is a vehicle that can run on the surface of moon.
A team of five students from Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering at Vile Parle took part in the competition. “Around 80 teams from across the globe participated in the competition held on April 1 and 2,” said Paril Chheda, a team member.
The participants were provided with a 1.7 km-long replica of the moon’s surface. The teams had to build a buggy that could ply on this surface. Another criterion that the teams had to follow was that atleast one of the two drivers had to be female. “We were well prepared this year and were able to perform well,” said Unnati Thappar, a team member. A team from the same college had participated last year as well and came 23rd amongst 96 international teams. “The best thing was that the astronauts appreciated our design, especially our steering and hydraulic breaking systems,” said Chintan Thakkar, who had participated last year.
Unlike last year, the buggy was returned to the team after getting a sponsor to fund their shipping charges. “The buggy means a lot to us because we won the award with it. We can also modify the buggy and use it for next year’s competition,” said Balagopal Padmakumar, another member.