Two Telugu students proved their talent and secured their place in the top ten in NASA's Break the Ice Lunar Challenge, an ambitious project opened in November 2020, incentivizing new approaches for excavating resources astronauts will need during long-duration missions on the Moon.
Karanam Sai Ashish Kumar from Visakhapatnam, Chunduru Amareshwara Prasad from Tenali of Guntur district, and Pranav Prasad from the US created a project in the name of AA Star and it got listed in the top ten. As a result, they won $ 25,000 (Rs 18 lakh). The students got an opportunity to work with NASA for two years in phase II. NASA has been conducting research and experiments on the moon for the past few years to explore the traces of water.
In phase-1, the teams were supposed to create a system architecture for collecting and transporting huge amounts of frozen regolith and water from a permanently shadowed location near the Moon's South Pole. A total of 31 teams including academia, industry, and independent inventors from 17 U.S. states, Canada, Australia, and Sri Lanka have submitted eligible proposals.
A total of 374 projects have been received from various universities, research institutes, scientists, and students from 48 countries. Ashish Kumar and Amareshwar Prasad who completed their M.Tech from AU joined with Pranav Prasad's team from the US.