Space Technology Students' Society

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Kalpana Chawla Space Technology Cell, IIT Kharagpur
Space Technology Student Society
Founded 2008 (2008)
Founder(s) Mayur Maheshwari [unverified]
Number of members 45
Under TSG No

Space Technology Student Society (spAts) is a student initiative that functions as the student body of Kalpana Chawla Space Technology Cell (KCSTC), the contact point of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at IIT Kharagpur. It organises the annual Space Technology and Astronomy themed fest, National Students' Space Challenge[1] (NSSC) every year since 2011. spAts ignites a passion for space exploration at IIT Kharagpur by organizing talks, discussions, stargazing sessions, lectures, and presentations.

The group publishes a bi- semester newsletter, 'The Moonwalk', which features on latest ventures in space technology and astronomy related articles and developments.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

The Space Technology Students' Society was founded way back in 2008 by a group of students extremely enthusiastic about the frontiers of space technology. It was formed as an official student body under the Kalpana Chawla Space Technology Cell (KCSTC). Since then, the society has grown in size and activities. The idea of a national level space-oriented fest was conceived and thus implemented as the National Students' Space Challenge (NSSC) in the year 2011. NSSC has been successfully organised for twelve more editions since then.

A subgroup of spAts, the FQTQ team which is a dedicated Astronomy discussion group was formed in 2016 under the guidance of Siddhant Singh.

Functioning[edit | edit source]

The student body of spAts is divided into two subgroups - the core teams consisting of Design team, Tech team and Management team (which is more concerned with management and outreach) and the FQTQ team (which is more based on Astronomical discussions and applications). spAts organises sky-gazing sessions, space-themed discussions and talks, webinars, lectures, presentations and publishes the bi-semester newsletter, "the moonwalk" for the people in the IIT Kharagpur community. The teams also organise the National Students' Space Challenge during the months of September-October.

Selection Procedure[edit | edit source]

spAts organises its selections during late August, once per year that is aimed only for the newly joining freshers for a continued membership till the end of the members' tenure. spAts organises an introductory seminar before the selections, where the functioning of the society as well as about NSSC is presented.

The interested candidates join as Junior Coordinators (JCoords) who conduct the NSSC. For the JCoord team, the candidate's technological, management, communication skills etc. are considered.

Later, selections for joining the spAts team happen, where interested candidates select one portfolio from the FQTQ team, Design team, Tech team and Management team where emphasis is given on prior knowledge in the specific portfolio, presentation skills, previous experience with the concerned technologies and knowledge in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Selections are done in three rounds, an initial interview, a task round and a final interview where the task submissions are reviewed.

Organisational Structure[edit | edit source]

spAts is mainly comprised of its two subgroups - the Core teams and the FQTQ team. Each subgroup have their own undertaking tasks but mainly the whole team collectively organises the NSSC fest.

Core teams[edit | edit source]

These teams are mainly responsible for Management, Outreach, Communication, Publicity, Sponsor handling, Design, Web Design and Finance for the fest and the other activities spAts organises. The core teams consist of the Design team, the Tech team and the Management team

FQTQ team[edit | edit source]

FQTQ stands for From Quarks to Quasars, which describes the team more oriented to astrophysics in general. They hold periodic discussions and presentations on various topics along with sky-gazing events, open talks, webinars and content development.

NSSC[edit | edit source]

Conducting the fest remains a major task for the whole spAts team. The team structure is as follows -

  • 5th and the 4th years comprise the Steering Committee (SCom)
  • 3rd Years are the Heads
  • 2nd Years function as Sub-Heads for the various events
  • First Years contribute as Junior Coordinators (JCoords) for the fest

List of Activities[edit | edit source]

spAts organizes a lot of activities within the campus, as mentioned below.

Induction Workshop[edit | edit source]

The spAts team interacts with the new coming Freshers batch during the Induction Programme through a series of presentations and workshops. In 2018, presentation on the life cycle of stars, the ever endless universe; and hand-on experience through water rocket lift-off workshop was conducted. The workshop received a positive response from the participants.

National Students' Space Challenge[edit | edit source]

The National Students' Space Challenge, abbreviated as NSSC, is an annual space-themed fest organised in the month of September-October since the year 2011. It is India's first and the largest space technology and Astronomy themed fest. The whole spAts team is indulged in organizing the fest.

For more details find it on - NSSC

Sky-Gazing Sessions[edit | edit source]

spAts also works to popularize astronomy among the people in the KGP community. Hence it organizes sky-gazing sessions every semester and also to cover exciting astronomical events, like the super blood red moon 30th January, 2017.

Space Month[edit | edit source]

Every Year spAts observes the month of March as Space Month, where a series of open discussions, webinars quiz or presentations are held. This space month primarily aimed to bring and contribute towards recent developments in space technology.

The Moonwalk[edit | edit source]

The Moonwalk is a bi-semester newsletter brought by the spAts team. It includes articles written on several astrophysical ideas, new perspectives arising in space and planetary sciences, recent developments in the field, contributions by eminent scientists over the world and discoveries.

Awards and Achievements[edit | edit source]

Competition Venue About Year Position
Astro Quiz, Supernova, TechNex IIT (BHU) Varanasi Team name - "TheKGPCrux" 2019 GOLD
Exploring the Interstellar, Supernova, TechNex IIT (BHU) Varanasi Observational astronomy based event 2019 SILVER
Scientists of Utopia, Supernova, TechNex IIT (BHU) Varanasi Case study event 2019 SILVER
Scientists of Utopia, Supernova, TechNex IIT (BHU) Varanasi (Online) Case study event 2021 GOLD
Astro Quiz, Supernova, TechNex IIT (BHU) Varanasi (Online) Space Quiz Event 2021 GOLD
International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition Online Eeshaan Sethia (Subhead) - International Runner Up 2022 National Topper

References[edit | edit source]

  1. NSSC
  2. "Reaching for the stars". The Statesman. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.