September 10, 2020
Aadarsh Narayan, a senior at Langham Creek High School, participated in the NASA High School Aerospace Scholars, a competitive program that culminated with a weeklong summer experience where he helped design a lunar polar rover.
Sept. 10, 2020—Aadarsh Narayan, a senior at Langham Creek High School, recently participated and excelled in the prestigious NASA High School Aerospace Scholars, which included a weeklong online experience where he helped design a lunar polar rover to help discover potential sites for future missions on the moon.
Narayan qualified for the program through a competitive selection process where he not only needed an expressed interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), but also in topics that included space exploration and Earth science.
“Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as it presented unique challenges and new areas for future research,” Narayan said.
Scholars selected for the program complete a four-month online portion during the 2019-2020 school year, with NASA activities and a state-aligned curriculum focusing on Earth, aeronautics, the International Space Station and the solar system. Hundreds of participants begin the program, with a select few then earning an all-expenses-paid spot at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for a residential summer program.
Narayan was among those chosen, but the summer program switched due to COVID-19 from onsite to an online format called the Moonshot Program. Participants were divided into teams and tasked with various aspects of NASA’s Moon to Mars mission.
Narayan and his teammates on Alpha1 worked on designing the lunar polar rover.
“The greatest part of this experience was team building, communication and working together to solve problems,” Narayan said. “There was so much work to do that without working in tandem with others and constant communication, it would have been impossible to accomplish what we did. In addition, the course provided an opportunity to dig deeper into the specifics of designing space rovers such as what materials may be needed for tires or the type of insulation required to preserve a rover at incredible extreme temperatures.”