My name is Sara, from the UK and I am currently studying Immunology at the University of Glasgow. I have participated in a number of contests, such as the EU Competition for Young Scientists (2015), the International Environment & Sustainability Project Olympiad (2015) and of course the Odysseus Contest (2017). In the latter, I teamed up with my friend Robert and our project The SAROBI Titan Mission won the Special Recognition Award for the most Inspiring Technological Project.
After participating in the Human Space Physiology course held by ESA, I discovered that I can engage in space-related activities, contributing my skills and knowledge from the field of Life Sciences. When I heard about the Odysseus Contest, I knew that it was an initiative perfectly suited to some novel ideas I had about a mission to Titan, which I very often shared with my friend Robert. We decided to team up and combine his engineering expertise with my knowledge of Biology and Chemistry – this resulted in our project, SAROBI. It was the only competition that we’ve ever encountered that offered so much creativity and flexibility, allowing us to inspire each other and make full use of our imagination.
I think the best part of the preparations were our brainstorming sessions and the moments of satisfaction, when some of our crazy ideas turned out to be possible to implement. It was an amazing experience to see how our initial discussions were starting to shape into an actual design, and later into colourful illustrations and scientific analysis.
When preparing the project, I incredibly expanded my knowledge on space mission design, space environments and our main mission location: Titan. However, the most important thing I learnt was realizing the value and power of interdisciplinary work – the fact that me and Robert came from different academic backgrounds hugely benefited our project, but also allowed us to expand our personal horizons.
Participation in Odysseus II Contest and all the extra-curricular activities planned for us during the finals significantly increased passion for Space Sciences. I am still friends with other contestants and I still think of the visit to Pic du Midi Observatory as one of the most breath-taking and inspiring things I’ve ever experienced. Receiving expert reviews on our design and skills also increased my confidence in what I can contribute to the field of Space Sciences, and definitely encouraged me to engage in further space-related initiatives.