Two high school boys in Bangalore have developed their own rocket, which is all set for launch.
Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) R K Maheshwari and Air Traffic Control (ATC) authorities have already given the green signal for the launch of Ebender, which was developed by the Standard XII students of Bishop Cotton Boys School.
The launch is scheduled for December 12 from Boodigere, 30km from Bangalore. However, 'to ensure total safety, ISRO authorities will be conducting an inspection and ultimately decide the location of the launch site, which could be either Thumba (Kerala) or Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh)," school principal Dr Abraham Ebenezer told PTI.
The result of a sustained two-year effort, the 10-foot high rocket is three inches in diameter and weighs seven kilograms. "It can reach an estimated altitude of 3.2-3.8km, its estimated range is five km and estimated time of flight is 12 minutes," the boys, Chandan Prasad and Dhanvi Reddy, said.
"The name of the rocket, Ebender, is symbolic of our affection and gratitude for the efforts made by our principal to ensure that our effort sees the light of the day," they said.
The duo, interested in rocket technology, were inspired to take up their 'dream project' by Canadian rocket enthusiast Richard Nakka, whose web page they stumbled upon while surfing the Net.
They wanted to keep their project 'a secret', but had to disclose it, as it required long hours of work in the science and computer labs, which closed at six in the evening.
"Only this August, we told our student counsellor Indrani Sudarshan about it. She, in turn, coordinated with the principal and others to ensure smooth completion of the project," the students said.
"It came as a pleasant surprise," Dr Ebenezer said. "I felt proud of my boys and wanted to help them in every possible way. I then took upon myself to get all technical clearances. If everything goes well, we want to invite Dr Kasturirangan for the launch."
Son of an agriculturist in Ramanagaram town in Bangalore Rural district, Chandan Prasad is indebted to his father for being the 'motivating force'. "It is he who helped me find a metal worker who could give the metal the required shape merely by looking at the blueprint of the rocket," he said.
In the case of Dhanvi Reddy, who lives with his mother, it was the latter who 'egged me on to complete the project and not get bogged down by hurdles'.
Both students want to pursue aerospace engineering but Reddy wants a degree in Information Management System too.As part of their future plans, both want to contribute to their alma mater, which is over 140 years old. Among its distinguished alumni are eminent personalities like scientist Dr Raja Ramanna and former HAL chairman Air Marshal M S D Wollen.