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YouTube Space Lab contest: Bangalore boy Sachin, the only Indian to win

Bangalore, Feb 24 (): Sachin Kukke of BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, is the regional winner from India in the 17-18 year-old category for his experiment in the global YouTube Space Lab competition from the Asia-Pacific region, the world’s leading online video portal said Wednesday.

The experiment to measure the thermal conductivity of ferrofluids in microgravity is the one makes him a proud winner.

Sachin Kukke’s experiment for the YouTube Space Lab — a global online search for two best teenager-devised experiments that can be performed on the ISS and which is supported by Nasa, the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency — was one of the six chosen from among 60 proposals uploaded to and voted for on YouTube by 150,000 users of the site, both scientists and laypersons. Two of the six experiments will eventually make it to the ISS.

Google said the final list of 60 entries included nine from India, one short of the most number of proposals from the US. Sachin’s proposal was adjudged the best from the Asia-Pacific region.

Sachin, the son of a police constable, is studying aerospace engineering at BMS College in Bangalore. He devoted much time  in consulting with his professors, poring over books, journals and the Internet — to devise the experiment, he said.

In honour of his achievement, Lenovo will present the Bangalore lad its IdeaPad Ultrabook at the awards ceremony.

Of the five other winning finalists, two in Sachin’s category (17-18 year-olds) are Amr Mohamed from Egypt and Emerald Bresnahan from the US.

The remaining three in 14-16 year-olds category are Patrick Zeng and Derek Chan from New Zealand, Laura Calvo and Maria Vilas from Spain and Dorothy and Sara Ma from the US.

The experiment, Sachin explained, aims at understanding if liquid magnets can help us travel deeper into space and also whether these can be used to make advanced cooling systems. “I had never imagined this. It is like a dream,” he said.

Sachin still has to beat competition from five others who made the shortlist of six to make it to the ISS.