Delhi boy Manogya Singh Suyansh, Odisha's Chinmaya Chaudhury and Meghalaya's Ribait Phawa are among the 60 students packing their bags for Bengaluru to watch landing of Chandrayaan 2 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ISRO headquarters on Saturday. To increase awareness about its space programmes, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had in August conducted an online quiz for students from Class 8 to 10.
The space agency selected top 60 to witness the historic event. The top rankers will watch the landing live along with the prime minister, a senior ISRO official said.
Chandrayaan 2, a three-module spacecraft comprising an orbiter, lander and rover, which was launched on July 22, will land on the moon on September 7.
Manogya Singh Suyansh, a Class 9 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya Delhi Cantt, said he aims to be an astronaut and was excited to see ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru.
"I have been fascinated about space since Class 3 when I had once made model of the nine planets as part of the holiday homework. Since then I developed an interest and have read books on the same," Suyansh told PTI.
He said the questions in the quiz were not very difficult but the time taken to answer them was the deciding factor.
Andhra Pradesh's Pragada Kanchana Balasri Vasavi, a student of Class 10, was also "very excited" for the event as she was the only one from her state to win the contest.
"I participate in all competitions in school so when our teacher told us about the online quiz I was very enthusiastic to participate, I am glad I did and excited about the fact that I am the only one from my state to have won the contest and have the opportunity," Vasavi said.
Ribait Phawa from Ramakrishna Mission School in Meghalaya and Rashi Verma from Delhi Public School in Lucknow, were not only ecstatic to witness the landing of Chandrayaan 2 but also to meet the prime minister in person.
"I have dreamt of meeting him ever since he took over as the prime minister first time. I was in Class 5 then. I am glad I will get to watch this historic event and that too with PM Modi," Verma said. A soon as Chinmaya Chaudhury from Odisha got the news of his selection, he packed his bags and was ready to leave for the function with his father.
"I have got a letter from ISRO informing me about the selection and that a guardian can also accompany me. Me and my father will be going," he said.
According to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan officials, 16 of the 60 students are from KVs across the country.
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry had also written to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as well as states to encourage students to participate in the quiz. Each student who took part in the quiz will be issued a participation certificate. The quiz was held online and had 20 questions to be answered in 10 minutes.
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