Perse pupil blasts off with NASA space design mission

Sai Batchu (Year 10) was over the moon after taking part in the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC).

He was part of the 12-strong British team selected for the ISSDC after claiming the Randall Perry award for leadership at the UK Space Design Competition in March.

Sai and his team-mates travelled to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where they faced the challenge of designing a colony on the far side of the Moon and establishing manufacturing capabilities within it before pitching their project to the judging panel in a bid to seal the deal.

Despite Sai being disappointed his ‘company’ just missed out on the big prize, he was pleased with how they tackled the task.

He said: “It was a great industry simulation, wherein we had to propose our business pitch and proposal for a contract.

“I had very little experience with land-based settlements, so this was relatively new and exciting to me.

“On the first day, we had been very confident of our progress and got a few hours of sleep, whereas on the second day, we had a lot of work and did not get a lot of sleep.

“We had ups and downs, but our morale was strong and we believed we were going to win. This was seconded by technical advisors and other volunteers, but another company succeeded.”

Alongside the ISSDC, Sai also visited the nearby Universal Studios and had the chance to witness two rocket launches.

He said: “The trip to Universal Studios with the UK team was great. We went on many of the rides together, which was a real thrill and good for team-bonding.

“The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches were mind-blowing. They illuminated the sky like a sun and seeing the boosters of the Falcon Heavy land was an especially thrilling experience.

“Although we did not win the coveted world championship, the experience as a whole was something truly remarkable.”


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