The world we live in today is changing every day and with the advancement in technology, even the sky is not the limit now. The space exploration and multi-planet system now finally looks possible but it’s still a long way to reach there and to achieve those results we need some innovative ideas, smart solutions and a sustainable ecosystem.
One such example is Nimaye Garodia, a 16-year boy from Mumbai who came up with a very interesting and innovative project for space experiments and research. His solution is not just a cheaper alternative for scientists and researchers but also very much accessible to common people and all the space enthusiasts out there.
Since childhood, he has been attracted to aircraft and aviation. This curiosity of his which has been continuously fed has now turned into a passion towards space.
It all started just as a fun project when Nimaye had thought of sending something to space. He realised that the researchers had lots of difficulties even after years of research and experiments sending their project for real-time testing. There was a constant urge of finding a solution that would not only be efficient but also easily accessible.
After 3 months of trying and testing, Nimaye finally launched his pilot project from Satara,Maharashtra. His solution to the problem was simple. He filled up helium in a weather balloon made of latex which is a very strong material and adjusted the air pressure in such a way that it would fly up to the altitude of 100,000 ft above the earth’s surface. This required a lot of data and a good knowledge of principles in physics and math along with many other factors such as air density, humidity, wind and chaos theory that needed to be accounted for. All the necessary calculations were done with the help of a calculator from the University of Wyoming and his project was ready to launch with a mere budget of around Rs 100,000.
Although Garodia’s balloon was sent as a pilot project with no payload, it included all the safety measures along with the return to earth capabilities so that the research equipment sent with the balloon can be retrieved. After reaching the height of 100,000 ft, due to the buildup of air pressure inside the balloon, it burst and began a freefall. The accelerometer and GPS fitted inside the balloon’s landing net track all the moments and finally, the parachute mechanism is kicked in which brings the payload back slowly and safely.
Compared to a traditional low altitude rocket that cost around a minimum of 25 Lakhs INR per flight this method is a far more economical one. These types of space balloons have a variety of scientific applications in helping research become more affordable and easier to set up. NASA is trying to promote its suborbital high altitude program by sending these kinds of weather balloons for research at a fraction of the cost of the satellite. ISRO has been able to identify bacteria that are present in the upper atmosphere with the help of a similar space balloon in the past.
Nimaye Garodia has already won many state, national and international competitions for his school and country and has some internship experience with aerospace companies in India.
Achieving such a feat at this young age is a sign of something special and India needs more such young minds to compete on the global level in the space race of the future.