Three talented students from the Garden State have made the semi-finals for the prestigious NASA Power to Explore competition.

Just to enter the contest the students had to learn about Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) and then imagine an RPS-powered space mission that would energize their space exploration dreams.

RPS is a battery that enables NASA to explore the deepest, darkest points of the solar system. The challenges of space exploration in darkness coincide with the total eclipse of the sun that will occur on April 8.

Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash
Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash

This year’s NASA Power to Explore competition received over 1,780 entries from 48 states. The competition will provide a tremendous opportunity for each of the entrants and particularly the semi-finalists and eventually the finalists.

They are learning a tremendous amount of solar and space knowledge not available currently in the student’s classroom.

Photo via Tokarsky
Photo via Tokarsky

For our New Jersey semi-finalists, they will have the opportunity to attend a virtual meeting with a NASA engineer and scientist to discuss their missions and ask questions about space exploration. A wonderful opportunity.

The winning students

Nithilam Arivuchelven from Short Hills, who is in the grades 5 -8 level of competition.

Nandini Bandyopadhyay from Short Hills, who is also competing in the grades 5 – 8 level of competition.

Thomas Liu from Ridgewood, who is competing in the grades 9 – 12 level of competition.

This is a prestigious competition that will produce some of the finest NASA engineers, scientists, and astronauts. We are enormously proud of our New Jersey competitors and look forward to seeing the tremendous accomplishments they will achieve.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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