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Sky Isn’t The Limit – An Interview With Sunny Kabrawala

by Sejal Mathur

Are you someone who aspires to become a scientist and has a penchant for aeronautics? Are you a Sci-Fi movie fanatic or someone who turns on the TV to watch shows on space science? Do you also scratch your head when you read more on space, rockets, and the science behind it all? Are you someone who is bamboozled by the very notion of ‘rocket engineering’?

You’ve come to the right platform! We bring you our host Sunny Kabrawala, a space enthusiast who chose to fly than walk! Join him as he walks us through his adventures with rocket and space science!

In a layman’s language, can you explain to us what on ‘earth’ or beyond you do in the 24 hours you have? 

“Being a founder, I do nothing. But let me tell you how a day at STAR looks like. Although we do not have any fixed working hours, the core team begins their day at 9 AM & plans out to-do-list enlisting tasks for the day! The technical team then starts their research work; manufacturing work follows suit: building rocket computers, like fly computers, engines, structures, design, etc. 

We also have a shapers team that focuses on teaching students, curating new content each day for students as we emphasize ‘project-based’ learning experience, for which we build models or prototypes such that can then be commercialized. Post lunch, team building activities keep the fun quotient high here. They learn how to pitch in front of investors and personal branding while also engaging in astrophysics & astronomy discussions. ‘Chai pe charcha’ is where the team has the usual water-cooler conversations and then check back on the to-do list’s status and add on to it! Their goal is not mere completion of the task but in fact, to imbibe something new… ‘Aaaj kya naya seekha’ is the bull’s eye question! The flexible working hours allow for stay-overs, further bringing the team closer to each other as well as to their goals.

Is Rocket Science Actually ‘Rocket Science’?

It’s essential to burst this myth about how difficult the subject is, where in fact, it ain’t ‘rocket science’ anymore. It comprises basic math & physics, which you’re taught in your 11th-12th grade, and the only factor that makes it appear tough is the limited number of people who’ve explored this field.

Is The Sky The Limit? Or Mars Is? 

The sky is not the limit, and our team aspires to reach not just Mars but beyond. They do have the ability to build what can not just cross Earth’s atmosphere but also reach higher up the Milky Way!

Is It A Myth That Only Students With Higher Grades/Marks Can Go Into For The Science Field? 

2 myths I believe that overpower many people’s thoughts in our country are 

1 – Only students with good grades from elite institutions can get into this field 

2 -Only students pursuing aerospace engineering can be a part of the space industry

Both of these statements are untrue. It’s only passion and curiosity that can drive the students into this field since the industry is not just limited to satellites and rockets. The professions here range from space artists to even space bloggers.

We See All Young Students Building The Star Team! Does Star Also Call Over Scientists And Other Experts To Guide The Team On Challenging Missions?

I’m the oldest person in the firm, and I’m 25 years old young. Since it’s an open platform, age is no bar here! The only essential element is that the team’s vision must be aligned with that of STAR’s and should consider it as their own. You don’t need to be an engineer/expert to join us. You only have to be an aspiring scientist or a fresher who’s eager to learn.

Who/What Inspired You To Venture Into This Science Adventure? 

I got to know about rocket science at the age of 10, and I dreamt of being an aerospace engineer. Being an average student didn’t deter me as I was very much conscious of my pursuit. In our country, the IITians & cream crowd from top engineering colleges are usually the lucky few who get the opportunity to work with space organizations. Therefore, I pledged to create my platform for students wherein I could offer them a hands-on experience irrespective of their academic background, as they join in to build space products and be a part of this industry! Their constant source of inspiration is the vision of STAR itself, i.e., ‘Make space for everyone’ apart from creating cool stuff that helps keep their adrenaline levels high.

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