On 19th July, the inaugural ceremony of Space Generation Nepal (SG_Nepal), first event by SGAC in Nepal, commenced with the lighting of the lamp (Panas) by dignitary Dr. Sunil Babu Shrestha (Vice Chancellor-NAST). The program was followed by National Anthem. Soon after the Ice Breaker where the participants enjoyed playing “human bingo”, the winner being awarded two FCUBE Cinemas tickets for the movie of their choice, Dr. Bonnie Thurber( CEO of Educational Continuum Org-ECO, and President of Global Hans-on Universe) gave a wonderful presentation about the Possibilities for Living in Space. During her presentation, the participants learned about the solar system, nearest stars, habitable planets and what to consider for Life in Space. She also elaborated about the future possibilities for colonizing the solar system including the Moon, Mars, Europa, Titan, and Venus, etc.
In his address Er. Krishna Raj Adhikary (Chairperson-NESARC) spoke about different activities of Nepal Scientific Activities and Research Center – NESARC that focuses on encouraging into space-oriented activities from school level starting from the children of age 8-11 to the college-level students. He also mentioned about the national and international training on space science for educators. He emphasized to establish space agency in Nepal and explained its necessities and formation of space policy of the country.
More presentations and talks included Mr. Vipul Mani (Aerospace Engineer) where he discussed the road map of a country like Nepal to promote space industry right to have an entire generation interested in the space sector.
Reshma Shrestha (Assist. Prof. Department of Geomatics Engineering, KU) explained about the application of space techs for disaster management, remote sensing and use of space tech for the prosperity of Nepal. Ending the presentation series for day one, Mr. Hari Bahadur Tamang (Founding member of Future Talks) shared his experiences and explained how to expand the network and build international credibility and the challenges that should be faced. He also talked about his journey to the Arctic with other 99 world leaders to discuss humanity’s biggest questions.
On the second day of the Event 20th July, which was National Space Meet 2019-Second of its series, the environment mainly focused on educating the participants via different video conferences and within talks and presentations from National and International speakers. Opening the 2nd day, Mr. Anamol Mittal explained the need of NESRA, its focuses, and collaborations for the future of NESRA and the Space Industry in Nepal. Mr. Anamol explained how collaborations and networking between different organizations, young professionals and Nepalese students will help boost the space domain in Nepal. Furthermore, he explained how being involved in the organization would help and facilitate young people for different national and international projects.
Soon after the tea break, 50th years of the moon landing was celebrated by showing different educative videos and messages from different relevant sources in the theme of Moon Landing. The celebration aimed to educate the participant about an astonishing accomplishment and what further can be achieved. The celebration dauntlessly explained why the conspiracy about the moon landing has no meaning and rather we should focus on the next target, Mars.
Mr. Sourav Karmakar (INFINOS TECH LLP) wished good luck for NESRA and presented how the development of space robotics can help in space exploration and Mr. Avash Maskey ( Project manager- Birds-3 project) shared his experiences and challenges that he faced and the future of the project. He also explained about the development of Nepali Sat-1 along with other Nanosatellites. In his time, Dr. Binod Adhikari explained the solar environment and its impacts on the earth’s atmosphere and weather system. And following him Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (Artist, Astronaut) got the participants excited with her presentation entitled “Space Analogue Mission Simulation”. She stated places like upper Mustang can help create a simulated environment for training to live in Mars and different project associated with this kind of training. She also emphasized on how we can capitalize our natural resources for future Analogue Astronaut Missions.
After the Launch and networking break a live video presentation from Dr. Emeline Paatdahlstrom on the topic “Democratizing Access to Space for Everyone” was shown. In her time she explained about the development of space technology from big and expensive to small and less expensive elaborating the growth of the small satellite; she stated the small satellite launched by 2030 would cross 62Billion dollars. She also explained the development of 3d printing in space from small structures to big ones. Ending her presentation, she explained about the importance of global participation in an even manner and the Role of Entrepreneurs in the development of the space industry. She also emphasized the collaborations on a global scale would help developing countries like Nepal. Continuing the Talk Series Mr. Udaya Shrestha (Deputy Director-Radio Nepal) presented a case study entitled “Disaster Management via Satellite Technology”. The main outline included different types of disaster that could be predicted via the available technology and what further could be done to minimize the casualties. He explained how DTH based Disaster warning system would be the best warning system for Nepal in the current state of Nepal.
Overall, the event mainly focused on the requirement of Space Agency and Space policy in Nepal, Nepal’s own satellite NEPALI SAT-1 and further development of the BIRDS project, Disaster management via space tech, space exploration and the possibility of living in space, space robotics and its application, Solar environment and space weather and its impact on earth weather and atmosphere, Space Analogue Mission Simulation- simulation of the space environment for space exploration, the importance of international and national collaboration, and many more. The growth of the space industry and its improvement were also elaborated. The panel discussion on both days answered the most important questions being raised after the successful launch of NEPALI SAT-1. Why the ground station isn’t ready even after Nepali Sat-1 is already orbiting in its planned orbit? Why should Nepal focus on space tech spending millions of dollars, when there are a lot of problems to be solved within the ground? What future can Nepal develop from the space industry and why the youth empowerment is necessary? On both days many quiz questions were asked to the audiences for entertainment purposes themed on Space and the winners were awarded movie tickets from FCUBE CINEMAS. One participant, in particular, shared his joyous experience from the event and pointed out the disconnect of the scientific community and the normal people. Answering this Mr. Anamol Mittal (President NESRA) stated this as one of the main aims of the organization.
Various organization came forward to support NESRA’s vision of making Nepal a space fairing nation like Standard Graphene (A South Korean Graphene Company), Maruti Business Concern, Pawan Group of Hotels, Fcube cinemas, Jansa Carpets, Abuja Cement, Xpashmina, Mars Academy USA, Huawei.