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YATS - Young Astronomers Talent Search

Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) is the signature event of Tata Steel in Odisha that inspires budding talent from high schools to explore the mysteries beyond the horizon and develop interest in fundamental science. Organized since 2007, in collaboration with the Pathani Samanta Planetarium, under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Odisha, this event provides a befitting platform to future scientists and astronomers. Through development of concepts and models on innovative aspects of astronomy, YATS involves thousands of students across the state every year fostering a scientific temper among them.

10th Edition of Young Astronomer Talent Search 2016-17

The 10th edition of YATS is different from its previous version with a twist in the format. This year, YATS includes:
- Open Quiz Competition on Astronomy (Eligibility: Classes VII & VIII)
- Essay Competition (Eligibility: Classes IX & X)

Proposed topics for essay competition

  • Building the next generation International Space Station
  • Space tourism: Human space-flights and their future
  • The future of the Indian Space Programme: The next frontier
  • New generation telescopes: How to see the unseen

  • Pratiksha Tripathy, Modern English School, Jeypore

    Project Title - Making an earth on Mars

    My model was completely based on human settlement on Mars. Building a base on Mars is not easy, it needs a lot of time, may be some decades. With the current technology, it takes about 6-10 months. So our plans are to send three people to “phobos” first, which is the largest natural satellite of Mars. Phobos has a nearly constant view of the Martian surface and is easier to land then on Mars because its lack of an atmosphere removes the need for technologies such as heavy heat shields or supersonic retro rockets. Assuming that a base has been created, the next challenge will be establishing a sustainable food supply. To get around the many difficulties, genetically modified crops (GMOs) may be useful. Mars could be a terraformed. Terraform means to transform the environment on another planet into one having the characteristics the Earth in order to make it capable of supporting terrestrial life forms. There is enough water on Mars for shallow seas and may be enough frozen carbon dioxide for an atmosphere about 30 % the density of Earth. Mars has a carbon dioxide atmosphere. The technology and resources needed to process that into oxygen and methane are not that demanding. At first, hydrogen for the process would need to be brought from Earth; later the frozen water that exists in large quantities beneath its surface could be used.

    But before planning all these things we need to know the amount of methane present in the atmosphere of Mars, because methane is the fundamental base for life on any plant. So for this the methane sensor is going to help us a lot. The sensor is aimed at understanding whether life existed on Mars or if it would have life in future. And it has given us positive results. A day will surely come when we people will be called ancestors of the Martians.

    Ankit Satpathi

    Project Title - Making an underground base on Mars...

    The best way to settle on Mars is to make an underground base there, so first a drill rocket will be launched from earth and it would drill holes for making the base. Then the human settlement goes to Mars (As Mars has a thin atmosphere, landing would be supported by jet propulsion drones) and starts making the base (The base material is Bakelite in form of long slides). So the only work they will do is to assemble the parts and the base is ready.

    The next thing is food, water and oxygen, these things would be done in a greenhouse which would supply food and oxygen, and water will be supplied by melting the ice caps on the poles of Mars. But till the green house and the ice caps are set up we would have a base station (Is between earth and Mars like a bus stop) which would supply the important needs. The base station will also act as an emergency exit base as Mars use to have strong storms. For energy we will have sources like wind sun and bio energy.

    Prachi Bhoi, Belpahar English Medium School, Belpahar

    Project name: Martian Base

    Dome shaped bases will be set up for large space and extra stability. Bases will be constructed from materials like:-
    1. Polycarbonates to block intensive UV rays.
    2. Polyurethane to act as a cushion against heat radiations,
    3. Titanium will be used for its high strength and low density.
    4. Kevlar and Myler to prevent the base from damage and punctures.
    5. High graded steel for blocking alpha, beta and gamma rays.

    Renewable sources of energy like solar and wind needs to be used. My bases will be connected to a greenhouse where plants which have undergone gene-splicing, will be grown to provide us with food and oxygen. To provide the astronauts with water and to water my plants Urine Recycling Centre will be set up. An Excreta Recycling Centre will be linked to the base to provide us with manure, to make Martian soil cultivable, and biogas, to use it as fuel. A satellite will be present near the base to communicate with the Earthlings. The materials used for the construction of my base will protect the astronauts from most of the challenges that we might face on mars.

    Utkal Keshari Mishra, DAV, Bandhbahal

    Project name: Marsivilisation

    It is important that our location is near the South Pole, due to the presence of water and ice. Man will live inside the base as it is safer. First we have to fulfill some of the basic needs of humans. On Mars, there is very low gravity which is about 3.711m/s. So, man will wear a special boots to tackle the low gravity. The temperature is also very low about -150 degrees Celsius. So heat generators will be installed to generate heat inside the base. To tackle the low pressure, many pressure controllers will be installed to maintain pressure. We have to make a sustainable environment to live on Mars. We must capture the volcanic gases to make the atmosphere thick to prevent radiations. But initially we have to prevent radiations by making our base’s outer shell with carbon fibre and greenhouse glass in the gaps. These will prevent radiations and will allow the heat to enter the basement. Oxygen is also one of the most necessary requirements of a human. As Mars has an oxygen concentration of 0.13%. So we have to generate oxygen for survival. We cannot live on Mars without plants. They will be grown there without the presence of soil. This type of growing of plants is known as Hydroponics. Our excreta and urine must be recycled and will be used for producing methane in a biogas plant. Our urine will be converted to water and our excreta will be processed to manures for the plants.

    I hope my “MARSIVILISATION” will be passed by scientists with flying colours.
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