Lucknow, Feb 20: Standard IX student Vivek Ranjan Maitreya has created history becoming the only 'NASA star' of Uttar Pradesh.
Vivek (16) -- a student of City Montessori school -- has notched a significant achievement by securing a place in the national top-10 merit list of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Destination contest. Sharing his experiences with reporters at a press meet here this afternoon, this young astronomer said that he had been invited by the organisers along with one of my parents and a teacher to the space agency NASA's headquarters in USA in May.
''It feels good when your hard work pays...Its true that I burnt the midnight oil and left no stone unturned to clear the competition. But, this could not have been possible without the blessings and encouragement of my parents and teachers, who always told me that bookish knowledge would be of no avail...one needs to know about the world,'' he added.
Meanwhile, Ms Prema Subramanium, Vivek's teacher, said a total of 9 students were selected from Lucknow for the final round of NASA Destination competition, of which 7 were from CMS alone. Besides, two others students were shortlisted from UP, she added. The Top-10 merit list included two students each from Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh 2 and one each from UP, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab.
''CMS happens to be the maiden school of India to have bought a latest telescope from USA to be used a teaching aid. Through this telescope, the budding scientists are being provided the latest information about the space in collaboration with NASA,'' CMS Founder-Manager Jagdish Gandhi said.
Besides CMS, America and Russia had introduced astronomy as a regular subject of study. Russia is the first country to have started the international astronomy Olympiad, he noted.