Ongoing Student Projects

Students at ACoeA are involved in summer internships across all our Research Areas. We also have external students from IIT Bombay and SRM University being guided on Astrobiology Projects

Space Biosciences

Shireen Mathur, B Tech AE 3rd Year, Amity University Mumbai

Topic: Radiation and its Effects on Astronaut Health in long term space missions

Mentor: Dr Dimitra Atri, Blue Marble Space, NYU Abu Dhabi


Astronauts are exposed to an increased amount of radiation during long term space missions in outer space. Space Radiation consists of energized charged particles, Solar Particle Events (SPE) and Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) which can cause harmful effects. Protection of astronauts from the effects of this radiation is a key issue in manned space missions. Research studies have provided strong evidence that cancer and degenerative diseases are to be expected from exposure to galactic cosmic rays or solar particle events. Radiation Shielding is one of the radiation preventive measures under consideration. Research studies are going on to investigate shielding materials that can be used in deep space and planetary exploration. Aim of this project is to understand and estimate these effects by computing radiation doses using simple tools. It focuses primarily on Low Earth Orbit (LEO), transit to Mars and radiation exposure on Martian surface.

Jovel Varghese, B Tech Biotech, Amity University Mumbai

Development of Biocontrol approaches for growing plants in ISS and future human habitats

Mentor: Dr Parag Vaishampayan, NASA JPL, Blue Marble

Dr Afshin Khan, NASA JPL, Blue Marble

Growing and maintaining plants in extremely stressful conditions in International Space Station (ISS) predominantly microgravity; wide range of extreme temperature and pressure, high cosmic radiation in low earth orbit and across Van Allen radiation belt, absolute vacuum, etc. also made challenges for future human habitats. Under the guidance of Drs. Afshin Khan and Parag Vaishampayan of NASA JPL's Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group (BPPG), we aim to understand current work done towards growing plants in the extraterrestrial environment (ISS and simulated regolith) and identifying potential knowledge gaps. Studies on plant-associated microbes (phytomicrobes) where specific bacteria, microalgae, lichen, etc resulting in a symbiotic relationship with plants for the survival in space conditions. The project also focuses on the understanding of past and current ISS and Mars regolith plant growth experiments for plant microbiome studies. Identifying potential viable bacterial and microalgae candidates and their corresponding plant/crop well suited for ISS and Mars for a healthy plant microbiome. The project continues to address mainly on Identifying microbial agents that benefit soil chemistry which could be potentially used to convert Mars regolith to soil suitable for agriculture. Finding Bacterial and fungal agents for soil health on Mars, and effective substrate growth in space and Mars for crop health and yield. This project further aims to find solutions to grow food crops with the association of microorganism for the survival of humans in future extraterrestrial space settlement and studying the parameters needed for the successful establishment of horticulture in an Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) present in ISS low earth orbit of Mars regolith. For the identification of potential new microbial biocontrol agents, the whole-genome sequencing technique is used. The overall objective of this project is to propose a plant-microbiome system using bio-control and growth-promoting agents to grow healthy and pathogens- free plants in ISS and future human habitats.

Design and Development of Amity Space Bioscience Experiment

Amity Space Biology Experiment is an in-house spaceflight payload that has been selected for launch on ISRO PSLV C-49. More information can be found here

Akshay Ghaywat, B Tech EE, Amity University Mumbai

Akshay is part of the ASBE-1 team and is currently helping complete the flight model for second handover (launch delayed due to COVID-19). 

Kartik Agrawal, B Tech AE, Amity University Mumbai

Kartik is part of the ASBE-1 team and is currently helping complete the flight model for second handover (launch delayed due to COVID-19). 

Ashish Jacob Sam, B Tech CSE, Amity University Mumbai

Ashish is part of the ASBE-1 team and is currently helping complete the flight model for second handover (launch delayed due to COVID-19). 

Mars Analogue Research

Mars Analogue Station Design

Jibran Ahmed, B Tech AE, Amity University Uttar Pradesh

Jibran has been developing designs for Mars Analogue Research Stations with focus on power system and geometric configurations. 

Off-Earth Drilling

Lunar Drill Design & Analysis

Neha Maanju, B Tech 2nd Year, ME, IIT Bombay

Heat flow measurements on the lunar surface give significant insight into the evolution of the Earth-moon system. Neha is working on ways to integrate the heat probe and the drill so that numerous measurements can be taken, availing the mobility of the rover.

Nilay Awasthi, B Tech 3rd Year, ECE, Amity University Mumbai

Drilling in a terrain with varying slope is a critical situation to handle in the real time, in Space Exploration. Nilay is working on developing instrumentation with feedback control system for optimising drilling performance on Lunar Surface.

Sipra Sonali Pradhan, B Tech 2nd Year, ME, IIT Bombay

Sipra is modelling the vapour pressure and the  rate of sublimation of ice in the lunar regolith under atmospheric pressure at the lunar poles. This would give us an insight into coring of the lunar sample without letting the ice get sublimated.

Vedanth Sharma, BTech 2nd Year, AE, IIT Bombay

Vedanth is working on the thermal modeling of a lunar drill, preventing issues such as the burning of the drill bit at high-temperature, modification of sampled content, and loss of scientific validity due to the heat generated by the dry drilling process in a high-vacuum environment.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

©2020 by Centre of Excellence in Astrobiology.