Nidhi Mayurika

Nidhi Mayurika: The Young Space Pioneer

Imagine being just 15 and already winning the top prize at NASA’s space contest three years in a row! That’s Nidhi Mayurika for you, a determined girl with big dreams of becoming a space expert. She started her journey in Class 7 and hasn’t looked back since.

Today’s story is about this talented young girl from Bengaluru, whose amazing successes are taking her toward an incredible future in space exploration.

When Nidhi was 11, she thought how the universe started was really interesting. This made her want to learn more. She liked doing science contests in fifth grade.

Encouraged by her school principal, she discovered the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest, which became the driving force behind her scientific pursuits.

She effortlessly understands even the most complex space-related terms. Unlike many of us who need a dictionary, she has all the space jargon at her fingertips.

She committed two hours each day after school to enrich her understanding of space and astrobiology, diligently absorbing knowledge from online courses provided by esteemed institutions such as The University of Edinburgh, Boston University, and the Australian National University.

In 2016, when NASA announced that students should make plans for space homes, Nidhi worked over two hours every day after school on her project, Saikatam, which means a new home away from home. 

Saikatam is a three-layered space colony for people to live at Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 5, which is 3,85,000 km away. It’s like Earth with air, gravity, water, and food,” she says.

Nidhi’s hard work paid off when she won first prize for Saikatam.

The next year, she joined the NASA contest again and won first prize again for her project Soham, which helps launch satellites. She says, “Soham is a home in space 350 km from Earth where we can make and send satellites. It’s like a big inflatable room.”

In 2018, her new idea, Swastikam, was all about creating a space home for special living things that can survive in tough space conditions like lots of sunlight and no gravity. 

With Nidhi’s amazing work, it seems like India might soon have its youngest cosmologist. Maybe one day, a special space place designed by this girl from Bengaluru will even be created!

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