“SARVA AARAMBHAHI DOSHENA,
In Sanskrit means, every good beginning made is always surrounded by `fires & fumes!’ Exactly. My dream journey to space has started with such Rocket fire…!
I have always dreamt about going on a space journey to Jupiter. I would build a huge city with enough water, oxygen and food so that people could come and live in it. But as they say ‘dreams are meant to be true’!
And my dream has come true! My school teacher called me that morning just to say that ‘Hey Akash, Good news! You are flying man and with the best of the astronauts the world has seen. Get ready for coming Friday‘. I screamed Whoooooo!! I could not believe myself that I am flying and that too with none other than great Neil Armstrong and Kalpana Chawla, the Indians are proud of. Now I am an astronaut ready for a fantastic journey to Space…to Jupiter! A journey of two and half years in the space!
Then heard a voice from behind ‘Hey Akash ‘ I could make it out it’s my close friend Himanshu. ‘We are flying dude we are flying..’ He was running towards me screaming and smiling. I asked ‘You too…’! ‘Yes, we both are flying.’ he said. Now both of us are going together.
I had talked to my family and friends, said goodbye to all and now its waiting time…! But I could not resist myself from knowing more about Space and Jupiter. I started my research looking into all available books, websites etc. But it’s my grandpa who took me really into the space like a dream. He started describing each and every information related to space..
He said, “Dear Child our Solar system is a busy space, consisting of 8 planets, dwarf planets, Moons, Asteroids, Meteoroids, Comets, ice and huge amount of dust & Gas that are all surrounding the sun which is at the center of the solar system.
It is Astronomers who have studied the solar system for thousands of years and still making new discoveries. There are four inner planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. They are terrestrial, composed of rock and relatively small and have few or no moons. The outer planets are – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. They are called Javian Planets. They are large, made up of gas, are ringed, and have many moons.”
Now my grandpa really was looking like a scientist or God himself who created Solar system. Because the way he was explaining looked like …he really created all these few days before!
He continued “Jupiter is The Giant Planet; it is the largest planet in the solar system being 300 times bigger than the earth. Its main feature is the Great Red Spot, which is a storm that has been going on for years. Jupiter has a ring but not as famous as Saturn’s. Jupiter has 63 moons orbiting it because of gravitational force. The four biggest moons are Lo, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Jupiter and the four moons were discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei.”
‘Grandpa can I become one like Galilei..?” I asked with all the humbleness. Grandpa smiled and said “You are my child.“ I was jumping…Hooo. Hooo…!
“Jupiter lies about 778,000,000 Km from Sun. It takes 11 Earth years and 314 days to complete one revolution around the Sun; length of the day is 9 hours 56 minutes, with average temperature of -148 degree Celsius.
Grandpa said in a low voice “It’s so exciting to be in such a place one can’t even dream of! And to be there in totally no mans’ land! “
I was bubbling inside every second to reach the space station.
Finally got a call from ISRO Bengaluru station calling for a training the next day early in the morning. Now I was thrilled and could not wait any more. Reached ISRO office at 8.30 AM sharp and they made me sit in a closed room. The door opened and a lady introduced herself as Kalpana Chawla! I could not believe all these are happening in my life.
The training began. And she said; “The sky is the limit only for those who aren’t afraid to fly!”
ISRO-Indian Space Research Organization:
ISRO is the Indian Space Agency Managed by Department of space having headquarters in Bangalore. The primary goal of ISRO is to develop space technology for various national tasks.
The Astronaut Training
The most exciting day for me was the day when I was selected by ISRO as an astronaut candidate. Then the real work had begun. The two years of training made me learn the basics of space shuttle and the International Space Station. I have also learnt how to be a part of a team by flying Training Jets, to handle medical procedures, to take public speaking classes and mainly the language classes where I am able to talk with the Russian Mission Control Center.
The other important training included:
1. Space Vehicle Mock-Up Facility.
2. Preparing for Micro-Gravity.
3. Precision Air-Bearing Floor.
4. The Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory
More importantly we were told about ‘What to discover?’
“Whether life can exist on Jupiter whether there is presence of oxygen, water and minerals?
“Rocket ships are exciting but so are roses on a birthday” -Leonard Nimoy.
The launch time. Myself and Himanshu both wore astronaut suit and we were walking along with Neil Armstrong and with Kalpana chawla towards ISRO prepared Rocket. As all others saluting we had entered the Rocket. I was sitting next to Neil Armstrong and Kalpana Chawla & Himanshu in front.
Countdown begun. We were all ready and the heart started beating faster & faster with excitement! The engines were on and ….LAUNCH…!
The rocket left earth’s atmosphere in no time. Within few minutes we removed seat belts and started floating in the rocket.
I looked through the window and I saw the Earth moving away from us, we flew across the moon and it looked big like a planet. We saw Mars and it was red just like I had read in books.
But here was the challenge, the Asteroid Belt. We had to fly through the belt but luckily Neil Armstrong, the best pilot known flew us through the belt like it was a piece of cake.
One year and 3 months passed and we’ve REACHED!! it was the happiest moment of my life. Jupiter was right in front of me. It was huge and majestic. We built a small house-type structure and brought all the food we needed on Jupiter from the ship. We dug mines in the ground for discovering many new metals and ores. Yes, we found a new liquid silvertype metal. As we took it to the house in Jupiter it turned solid metal that was green. That time I got to know that when the new liquid comes in reaction with oxygen it turns green and solid. Then we built a small car that was solar powered, Rover. I and my team decided to go exploring to see if any ‘alien exists.’ We came back to the house, we had explored many craters, discovered many new rocks etc.
Well, half a month passed, it is time for us all to go back to Earth. We were the first Children to go to Jupiter. I proudly placed my country’s flag, India. Then we were off to Earth. We were in the ship. It was launch just as when I heard a voice “Wake up Akash Wake up. It’s time for school.” I could recognize the voice, it was my mom! Then I realized it was all a dream and I was at my home!
But still I wonder, Could it ever become true?
Name – Akash M. Athreyas
Class – 7th
School – Samved School, Bangalore.