Nine Indian students make it big in SpaceLab contest

Nine Indian students have made it to YouTube's SpaceLab, a global science competition that challenged 14-18 year-olds to design a science experiment that can be performed in space.

Hyderabad-based Nitya Raju, a finalist who participated in the 14-16 year-old category, said, "My video shows a simple experiment to determine how liquids of different viscousities behave variously under microgravity. While most have seen the shapes water can assume when floating in a space shuttle, I'm curious about how the viscosity of a liquid affects its form."

Hosted by YouTube, Lenovo, and Space Adventures in cooperation with space agencies, including NASA, European Space Agency, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, YouTube Space Lab received thousands of videos from 80 countries.

Students not only described their science experiment ideas via video, but also demonstrated and animated the procedures. The YouTube community will be invited to judge the entries, alongside judges including scientist Stephen Hawking and former astronaut Leland Melvin.

The two winners will have the experiments conducted 250 miles above earth, aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and streamed live on YouTube from a ThinkPad laptop as part of a global event celebrating science and space.
Winners will get to choose a unique space experience: A trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off in a rocket bound for the ISS or, once they are 18, astronaut training in Star City, Russia, the training centre for cosmonauts.
Zahaan Bharmal, Google's head of marketing operations (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and the man behind the idea of Space Lab, said, "They (students) rose to the challenge, demonstrating imagination, creativity and passion. Today's Space Lab entrants are tomorrow's space explorers."