Space Avenue - Path made easier

The topic ‘Space’ creates fantasy not just in kids but also in adults. The sole reason is that it is unexplored, unique, and difficult to access. In some people, this fantasy will turn into a strong passion where they look for various sources to quench their thirst on related topics, news, etc. On the other hand, space may seem a very challenging topic because every difficult thing is quoted as- ‘This is rocket science’. This builds up an aura in the minds of elders especially that learning about space is not a cup of tea, let’s try not to overburden our kids, and so on. For people falling under such categories, SPACE remains a fantasy forever. They don’t even attempt to cross that barrier forever in their life.

In both the categories mentioned before, there is a need for refinement on how to access space education, to get a feeling that space isn’t tough, and also why there is a need to study about it. Before this, there is one more important footstep i.e., one has to know what exactly interests an individual! According to many, the topic SPACE involves various perspectives such as the universe, black holes, rockets, satellites, flights, etc. This misconception has misguided many students in ending up with wrong choices in their career path and still repent on knowing about their insightful of real ‘SPACE’. Some of them may feel fascinated by airplanes flying in the sky, some others get goosebumps when they see live rocket launching, and others just get lost when they see the dark matter in the universe. Unfortunately, all these are grouped as ‘Space’. But in reality, they are as different as an apple and a peach, despite falling into the fruit category, they may look similar but are completely different. So, first one has to think deeply about what exactly drives their interest: is it the flights, rockets, satellites, or the stars. This is the first step towards diving into any subject for that matter. Once you have figured it out, the next step is to know why you need to know about space.

Thinking about things that fly will activate the brain in terms of physics, the mathematics behind flight, concepts such as gravity, density, etc. will be well learned, why not all the things on earth are flying, why is it only aircraft able to do it and so on. Similarly, the elevator helps us to go from the first floor to the 8th floor for instance; but how can I use such an elevator to go beyond the earth’s atmosphere? Oh yes, rockets do this job, then why only a rocket can do it, and why not the same aircraft that helped us to fly inside the earth can do it. Likewise, thinking about how are we able to communicate with people residing in corners of the world, how are we able to get a thorough understanding of the earth, mapping, weather forecast, etc. Thanks to the satellites that are orbiting our earth and doing all these jobs for us. Nevertheless, are we the only ones in this universe living? We don’t know yet, but why should we limit our curiosity! Let’s explore, and that is when a man can dream about going to other planets in search of life, resources, etc. A point to be noted is that all these can be done with the things we already know i.e., we use the same spacecraft to travel to Mars, and use the same parachute to land on it and use the same toy car i.e., rovers to explore the Martian surface or in the recent days, the same helicopter we use on earth was used on Mars too-The Ingenuity. Therefore, learning these basics is just like learning the art of stitching clothes. Once you become a master of this skill, you can be the designer to any person irrespective of events. Even in space education, after learning how everything works on Earth it is much easier to adapt your knowledge not just to Mars but even to design any vehicle, technologies for interstellar travels too. So, coming back to the question of why to study about space is because it is like breaking all the thought barriers which usually limits your rational process and going beyond the level one could even imagine, not just in a dream but bringing all imagination into reality and see things working. This is something the pleasure you can evidence only while exploring oneself about ‘Space’.

The last question, how do we learn about space. Of course, there are wide internet sources which help one to know the facts, watch amazing videos on YouTube, read the encyclopedia and the list goes on. But wait, what if you find a platform where one has been promised to give all these in a combo pack! What more one needs right! That is what the team aims at doing this amazing job. With the experts, the students are helped to discover the path they are interested in, then they are encouraged to go with their passion, they are taught with the basics and train to grasp concepts up to an advanced level not limiting to theory but also many practical applications with interesting activities. The outcome of this course will be a strong, confident individual who knows what interests him/her in Space, they come out with the dream of achieving it and they are sure about what higher studies will lead this way. Unlike the individuals who dream of the universe but end up as an Aeronautical engineer.

Ashwini B.R
MS in Aerospace Engineering, FHWN, Austria, Researcher-TU, Graz, Austria