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YouTube Spacelab

Devesh Narayanan

Spacelab is a worldwide competition for Physicists aged between 15 to 18 years, organised by the National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Russian Cosmonauts Agency (RCA). Participants would have to design experiments that would run in microgravity conditions, and the winning experiments would be actually carried out in the International Space Station (ISS). A short video had to be uploaded on to YouTube, after which it would be sent to NASA for selection. The Judges panel included eminent physicists such as Prof. Stephen Hawking, Walter Lennings and Micheo Kaku.

For the competition, Devesh designed 5 experiments each addressing various unproven hypotheses in Physics: Angiogenesis in Space, Geotropism in Space, Superdiamagnetism, Space Based Solar power and the Twin Paradox.

Of the five, three experiments were selected to the top 20:

1) Angiogenesis in Space : Aims to find pro-angiogenic drugs that could be given to astronauts when they go into Space. 2) Space Based Solar Power: Aims to find whether it would be commercially viable to harness solar energy from outer Space. 3) The Twin Paradox: Aims to prove that travel at proportions of the speed of light slows down the biological process of ageing.

The final results will be declared on 3rd January, 2012. The winner would get a trip to NASA as well as Two years’ training at the Russian Cosmonauts Agency.

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