Over 25 students from Amity International Schools located in Noida, Mayur Vihar, Vasundhara, Gurgaon Sector-43 and 46 and Pushp Vihar had the rare opportunity to interact with Prof. Nicollier, Swiss Astronaut through Video Conferencing at Amity Campus, Sector- 125, Noida
Prof. Claude Nicollier has been a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut of Swiss nationality for nearly 30 years. He has logged more than 1000 hours in space, including a spacewalk of more than 8 hours duration to install new equipment on the Hubble Space Telescope on STS-103.
The theme of the video conferencing was “Living, working and traveling in Space”. Prof. Nicollier, during the video- conferencing, also touched upon “SOLAR IMPULSE AIRPLANE”---which was in news lately for its maiden flight using solely SOLAR ENERGY.
The students bubbling with curiosity asked a volley of questions from the astronaut such as “If a Space Settlement is planned, then where it should be assembled -on Earth or in Space and how to resolve the problem of low/zero gravity in Space?”, “How can a person get basic amenities like oxygen, food, water in Space?’, “How can solar winds be used?” , “What is beyond the Universe?”, “How can life be made self-sustainable in Mars?”, “What is the next experiment to be conducted on Mars?”, “A radio signal takes 20-30 minutes to travel from Mars to Earth. What would be done in a case of emergency if habitation takes place on Mars?” etc.
The astronaut shared his experiences as mission specialist during 4 space missions namely STS-46 in 1992 (EURECA deployment and first test of TSS), STS-61 in 1993 (first servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope), STS-75 in 1996 (second flight of TSS, and USMP-3 microgravity investigations), and STS-103 in 1999 (third servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope)
Recently, the astronaut traveled around the world in a solar powered airplane which runs on solar powered cells. He shared his experiences of the journey and apprised students with the mechanism of the solar powered plane.
The students found the interaction with Prof. Claude Nicollier very enriching and inspiring
Ishita Bedi, a student of Class IX, Amity International School, East Delhi whose dream came true after interacting with the astronaut found the session “ amazing, interesting and inexplicably informative”. She remarked that the astronaut explained the most intricate and difficult topics in a simple, lucid and interesting way, which can generate interest of astronomy in any student.
The video-conferencing was coordinated by Amity Educational Resource Centre under the guidance and leadership of Dr. (Mrs.) Amita Chauhan- Chairperson, Amity International Schools