Touching the Kármán line – Team Gargantua – SSERD Online Internship

A team of 9 designs a rocket in 5 weeks! It’s obvious this is no small feat. Nine people coming from different parts of the country, getting acquainted online and with the help of resourceful mentors introduced to us by SSERD, team up to build a rocket from ground-up that can reach the Karman Line with a Two-stage Solid Propellant Rocket. Not just reach it, but to also recover the stages and the payload! We called ourselves “Team Gargantua”. The name is gleaned from the BlackHole’s name in the movie Interstellar. We were summoned to complete a task whose journey we never performed. Here is our brief experience at SSERD’s Internship and Project department where we launched off the ground and reached the Karman Line.

               It was the beginning of the internship. The huge interference to our work was to do this completely online. We were puzzled about where this would take us. We needed to evolve. We knew we were capable of achieving anything. We did it because we are determined.

A few ice-breaker sessions at the start and our graph shot up exponentially. We assigned tasks based upon our strengths. The mentors provided to us were extremely knowledgeable. Their inputs were why we could complete in such short span of time. 

Below are some experiences shared by our Team-mates:

Khyati (Lead) – Throughout the internship I have always been well-supported by my Teammates and mentors. Time management, Planning, communication, adapting and valuing the differences are some of the key personality takeaways. I have always loved Mathematics and Physics and best part of the internship was that I could work on trajectories, motion equations which involved a lot of math. I am very proud of what my team has achieved!

Krishna (Co-Lead) – When we were given the problem statement, I expected, at first, to be finished in an organised and simple way. As we progressed through, I found our expectations being shattered every moment we ventured into a new part of the rocket. There was always something to perfect. I now firmly believe that it’s important that we expect the unexpected and the sheer joy one can get from doing something they like can lead to the expected results.

Aarya – This was my first internship and I felt like I am working with my dream team. I was nervous at first, but everyone treated me nicely and made me comfortable. I learned that presentation and report writing are very important aspects of a project. I could trace my personal growth throughout the internship along with firm expression of my thoughts with confidence.

Jyothirmai – The mentors being sincere and colleagues being curious and enthusiastic, we shared our knowledge to come out successfully. I witnessed how much people are working hard to make India, a super power. The internship was a fond memory which will keep me motivated and filled with energy throughout my life. 

Pooja – The internship was a big learning platform for me. I had good theoretical knowledge but only here, I understood how things are actually in practice. It is a big cycle of iterations. It was good to have a team where, when something is not known to one person, there will always be someone else who can do it.

Tejas – Since pre-school, the only thing I wished was to make a contribution in making humans a multi-planetary species. This internship has made me take a big step in that regard. The technical details that goes into designing a mission have to be given utmost care and SSERD gave us the right space to learn that. The only way someone can overcome hurdles is with confidence and smart work which is what we did when we faced a major setback when there was just 4 days left to submit our presentations.

Sohan – I was always of the opinion to make everything in the BEST possible way. But, as we progressed, I understood that even if there are superior things to choose, many factors have to be considered like feasibility, availability and budgets. So, it is never the ‘best’ thing, but the most suitable and compatible that we need to opt.

Fagun – The best part of my internship was meeting new and inspiring people. The internship has shown me that I need to focus more on the technical aspect and less on the benchtop. As a freshly pressed undergrad, I definitely feel that I have gained good work experience here and am looking forward to the future. Internships are incredibly valuable for networking, gaining experience, and ultimately helping you to land that dream job.

Harshad – Sustaining in space is our next step in the evolution process. The space sector is a field where there is a huge number of opportunities to learn, experiment, develop, and discover. This internship has helped us to evolve by making our fundamentals strong. I am very thankful for SSERD that gave me this opportunity.

– Written by Team Gargantua

For more information on the team visit the website ofTeamGargantua, Team Gargantua is a part of SSERD’s Internship and Projects Divison’s Online Research Internships

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