Jamshedpur, May 9: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the exposure visit of the top 20 budding astronomers of the state to Satellite Centre of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bengaluru, at a function held at Naveen Niwas, Bhubaneswar, on May 8, 2016.
These promising youngsters were selected through a series of tests of Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS)-2015-16, organized by Tata Steel in collaboration with Pathani Samanta Planetarium.
Congratulating the students and conveying his best wishes, Patnaik expressed the hope that the young talents would utilize this visit to enhance their knowledge. He also appreciated the efforts of Pathani Samanta Planetarium and Tata Steel for successfully organizing the Young Astronomer Talent Search program.
In addition to visiting the facilities at Satellite Center of ISRO, these students will have the rare opportunity of interacting with some of the top space scientists of the country during their visit. The Bengaluru center of ISRO is engaged in developing satellite technology and implementation of satellite systems for scientific, technological and application missions.
With an aim to popularize the excellent contributions of legendary astronomer of Odisha, Pathani Samanta while identifying and encouraging young talents from high school students of the state in the field of astronomy and space science, YATS is being organized since 2007.
To provide world class exposure to young talents of Odisha, every year 20 winners of YATS, selected through three levels tests from amongst students from class VIII- to X across the state, are sent on a visit to different centers of ISRO. The young students not only get first-hand experience of visiting the renowned ISRO Satellite Centre, but also have opportunities to visit other important centers of Science in the city and interact with the senior scientists there.
Dr Pradip Kumar Panigrahy, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, the Government of Odisha, Kalisah Sahu, Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Arun Misra, vice-president, Project Gopalpur and MD, Tata Steel SEZ, Manikanta Naik, Chief Resident Executive, Tata Steel, Bhubaneswar, Dr Subhendu Patnaik, Deputy Director of the Planetarium, were present on the occasion.
While wishing the students for their journey, Arun Misra said on the occasion that Tata Steel has been organizing YATS in collaboration with planetarium to promote scientific temper among young students and help them to become future space scientists.
The team, comprising of 11 boys and 9 girls from across the state with their respective guide teachers, is led by Dr Subhendu Patnaik, Deputy Director of the Planetarium during the tour to Bengaluru from May 9_13, accompanied by one officer from Tata Steel.
These top 20 students were selected from school children across the state participating in YATS in three stages at eight different zones — Belpahar, Keonjhar, Balasore, Joda, Jeypore, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Jeypore. This six month long exercise culminated on December 13, 2015, the birth anniversary of Pathani Samanta. The finalists were selected by a panel of experts on the basis of models displayed by them on the theme ‘Building a Base on Mars.’