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October 11, 2007

Zephyr 2007 at IIT Bombay

Zephyr is an aero festival organised by aerospace engineering department of IIT Bombay. Over the past six years, Zephyr has drawn huge crowd with good participation from eminent colleges across the country. This year, Zephyr 2007 was organised from October 5th to 7th. The three-day long festival saw a variety of events including workshops, competitions, paper presentations, debates and guest lectures by eminent personalities. Also, it was held along with golden jubilee celebrations of IIT Bombay.

On the evening of October 5th, the festival started with an inaugural address by Dr B Suresh, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). Before Dr Suresh's address, the film “16 days: Columbia's Final Mission” on the disastrous space shuttle flight that resulted in the death of Kalpana Chawla and six other astronauts and another film on the Challenger space shuttle disaster was screened.

On the second day, Dr Suresh was the first speaker. He spoke about ISRO's Chandrayan mission and the future plans of VSSC. Other eminent speakers on the day were Dr AR Upadhya of the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), P Venugopal of 'BrahMos' and Pulak Sen. Dr Upadhya spoke about the future plans of NAL, P Venugopal gave a lecture on BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and Pulak Sen spoke on the history of Indian aviation.

Later on the day, the keynote speaker, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, hosted an interactive session on her recent flight on the space shuttle and the longest stay ever in space aboard the International Space Station by a woman. She holds three records for female space travelers: longest spaceflight (195 days), number of space walks (four), and total time spent on spacewalks (29 hours and 17 minutes).

These sessions were then followed by a display of fighter helicopters by the Indian Air Force (IAF), and an astronomy workshop in the night after 9pm.

Day three was full of excitement and enthusiasm with students participating in interesting events, competitions, presentations and quiz. More information about the events and the lectures will soon be updated in this blog. Keep visiting and reading.


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