"Newsmakers from Hyderabad"
City boy selected to participate
in the Mars exploration rover mission.
Hyderabad : Vignan, a Class IX student of St Pauls High
School, is one of the two students selected from the country to
participate in the Mars exploration rover mission.
The city boys along with Satvik Agarwal from Gurgaon were shortlisted by NASA to join 16 others from 12
countries in the prestigious ' Rover Goes to Mars ' mission.
Vignan will undergo training for 15 days at NASA during which he
will also be a part of the public interface.
Born in 1989,he was brought up in
a scientific environment, as his parents are scientists. The
first recognition of his scientific talent was in 1997 when he
won the first prize in the Science Exhibition in III Class.He
exhibited a model of a satellite and it was his grand entry into
Vignan had recently conducted an awareness campaign, in which
there was a model of the Martian terrain like the Mars yard at
the JPL, on which he placed a mini robot fitted with a camera.
It transmitted pictures to the control station and the audience
were all excited to see the robot visit the tallest mountain
range, the biggest canyon etc.He also showed them how the Mars
Exploration Rovers actually land on the Martian surface and the
audience were enthralled by the wonderful animations by Dan
He is the recipient of the International Children’s Excellence
Fund’s award for Excellency for the year 2000. His other notable
achievements are the ‘Best Debater’ award from World Wide Fund
for Nature (WWF) and two gold medals in the Montfort Literary
and Cultural Festival.
All of his friends at school are actually waiting for him to
complete his training as they expect him to share with them
whatever he would learn in Pasadena. They are also now checking
out the Planetary Society’s website in the lookout for further
opportunities like the Student Astronaut Contest.
And when he come back to Hyderabad,young Vignan hopes to start a
band of aspiring scientists who will, some day, really control a
spacecraft and land on Mars!
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