Helping pupils meet the challenge of the red planet

Helping pupils meet the challenge of the red planet

Aadil Kara (OE 2010–2017), himself a veteran of an international space design competition, was one of the judges when QE hosted its own Galactic Challenge.

His QE contemporaries, Sam Bayney and Harikesan Baskaran, were also among those helping out on the day.

Competing in the challenge were two home teams and two visiting from The Henrietta Barnett School, which each formed a fictional aerospace company. They produced proposals for an Earth–Mars cycler settlement – a proposed future orbiting hotel which would ferry 1,000 people to and from Mars following a ‘cycler’ trajectory that regularly intersects the orbits of the two planets.

Galactic Challenge, which is for students aged 10-14, is the sister competition of the UK Space Design Competition (UKSDC), which is for those aged 15–18. Aadil has for several years supported both competitions and is a member of the UKSDC board. A Senior Analyst with the Cabinet Office, he graduated with a first in Physics from Imperial College London.

Aadil, Sam and Harikesan were all part of a QE Sixth Form team that won the regional heat of the UK’s Space Design Competition and went on to the 2017 national finals, where Aadil was selected to take part in the International Space Settlement Design Competition in Florida.

In addition to Aadil, the competition was judged by staff from the Space Science & Engineering Foundation, as well as QE Head of Physics Jonathan Brooke, and Dr Flore Faille, Head of Physics at HBS.

Mr Brooke said: “The boys presented with great skill and confidence.”

Once all the competition was done, however, final victory went to Columbus Aviation, one of the HBS teams.