It’s been famously referred to as “the final frontier.”

For as long as humans have had the urge to look skyward, they’ve been fascinated by space. A few of them make it the focus of their life’s work.

Among them is Akhil Turai, a young aerospace engineer whose early love of physics has translated into a formidable career in Space and Engineering industries.

Now, just 25, he’s already thinking about ways he can help optimize the future for his chosen field.

He’s spearheading a new enterprise which he hopes will both spark the interest of young would-be scientists, and ensure the long-term viability of work in the space science field.

The startup, appropriately named “Space Science LLC”, has a clear vision.

Its long-term goal is to establish a fully functioning Research and Development division by the year 2025. It will recruit and employ engineers, scientists, data specialists, doctors, and other professionals devoted to the furthering of aerospace and STEM (Science Engineering Technology Mathematics) studies, especially in Space Science.

But before that happens, Space Science LLC aims to provide grist for the mill. That is, they want to spark the curiosity and interest of an upcoming generation of young would-be scientists. They hope to provide insight into this specialized field and, ideally, to instill in young people the confidence to pursue a career in the field of space science.

They intend to do that through an out-of-this-world initiative they’re calling the “Space Science Olympiad”.

This kicks off in 2021, and will become an annual event. The advice to would-be Olympiad competitors: “Train your brain”. Participants will be able to test their mettle in competitions and games focusing on fields including astronomy, astrophysics, aerospace and even quantum mechanics.

The aim is to attract young space enthusiasts from around the world. Not only will these young people have the opportunity to show off their intellectual might in public: they’ll also have the chance to win some brag-worthy prizes: among them, an exclusive luncheon with NASA astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center.

The competition breaks down as follows:

Competitors will choose from three different exams in the subjects of Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Aerospace.

  1. i) There will be two competition levels: Junior level (13 y.o. – 17 y.o.) and Senior (18 y.o. – 24 y.o.)
  2. ii) After paying the entry fee and registering, competitors will receive a study guide
  3. iii) After test completion, invitations will be sent out to finalists who qualify to compete in a “lightning round”

First, second, and third place winners will receive trophies and certificates.

Up to 6 finalists (only the first prize winners) will win an all-expenses-paid trip to meet and have lunch with NASA astronauts.

Competitors with the second and third highest scores will be awarded scholarships in the form of cash prizes.

It’s hoped that the Space Science Olympiad will kindle and nurture a similar affinity in its young participants, and inspire them – in the words of a certain Space Fleet captain – to “boldly go” into the field of space science studies.

And who knows? If the stars align, the next Stephen Hawking might just be among the young Olympians of 2021. What they need is just some little exposure.