Bhubaneswar: NASA has selected an innovative fastener designed by seven school students from Odisha to try out its viability in space.
The fastener will be sent to space via NASA’s SR-7 Rocket from Virginia, USA on June 24, according to Sunil Pradhan, one of the mentors for the team of young innovators.
Part of Young Tinker Academy (YTA), the seven students from across Odisha are Rishab Mishra, Aryan Patnaik, Dwipayan Jena, M Sai Krishna, Satwik Parasar, Shibam Sundar Mahakud and Sriya Sahoo.
Besides Pradhan, they were mentored by Anil Pradhan, Vaishali Sharma and Anurag Behera to achieve their goal of designing the fastener.
Speaking about the innovation, Pradhan said, “Whenever one sends any type of spacecraft, rover, orbiter, lander or flyby mission into space, fasteners are added to fasten things. Different types of fasteners are used for this purpose. These fasteners face a lot of vibrations during spaceflight. There have been incidents where the fasteners become loose, leading to severe and costly accidents. So we decided to conduct an experiment in which we tested the efficiency of four different types of fasteners in near space environments,”
During the four-month-long experiment to design the fastener, the team used AISI 304 Stainless Steel, AISI 316 Stainless Steel, A286 Superalloy and Inconel 718 Super Alloy, Pradhan informed.
“We first studied various materials, types and sizes of fasteners that are currently used by NASA, ISRO and various other space organisations. We studied the various tests which were being conducted on the fasteners to test them. We had to set up a post-flight analysis plan and then conducted all the tests which can be done here in Odisha. Then we became successful in completing the project,” he added.
Pradhan said the team of Odisha school students have showcased their innovative capability among participants from 73 countries for NASA’s ‘Cubes In Space’ project. It was organised in collaboration between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Wallops Flight Facility, Langley Research Center and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.
Earlier, some Odisha-based young innovators of Navonmesh Prasar Student Astronomy Team (NaPSAT) had been selected for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021. They had secured the third rank among participating teams from across the world.