Assam govt sponsors state toppers' trip to Nasa

Nov 2013 Source: Times of India

For the second year, the state government is sponsoring 13 students from classes X and XII, who are rankholders in the 2013 state board exams, for a 10-day visit to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) in the US.

The students will also visit Washington DC, New York, AT & T Bell Lab and Benz Manufacturing factory. A government spokesperson on Tuesday said that the students will depart on Thursday.

"During the Nasa visit, the students will understand various aspects of space and astronomy in simulated environment including astronaut training, conducting of space experiments with Nasa educators, understanding space shuttle mission control, meeting Nasa scientists and they will directly interact with the Nasa astronauts," said the spokesperson.

The annual Nasa visit for the rank-holders was initiated by the state government in 2011 and the first batch undertook the journey last year. The objective is to give the students an exposure to the advances in space science and astronomy and to make them global citizens.

A senior official of the education department said that the students will be able to know the challenges of space exploration during the visit. They will also see the John F Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando which has been the home of every manned space flight from the US since 1968.

The meritorious students will also camp for two days at the US Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. They will participate in simulated space shuttle missions, understand mission controls, monitor the progress and safety to understand successful launching and landing of the spacecraft, and conduct experiments while learning basic scientific principles.

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