Manipur’s Purul boy led IIT Bombay team at Spaceport America Cup 2023

Senapati: From folding papers into rockets to leading IIT Bombay rocket team at Spaceport America Cup, Khulodoh Maikho, a native to Purul village, Senapati District is a third year student of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Bombay who journeyed into his dreams of contributing to the Indian aerospace industry.

The Spaceport America Cup is the world’s largest Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). The Spaceport America Cup 2023 was held from June 19- 24, 2023 at Southern New Mexico, USA.

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The competition gave the opportunity to collaborate and compete at a world- class facility wherein 159 student teams represented the most ambitious and brightest from more than 100 institutions around the world. From 24 countries, India’s IIT Bombay was led by Khuloudu Maikho. IIT Bombay was placed in the 64th position while Brigham Young University, USA bagged the first position.

Ukhrul Times speaking to Khuloudo told that the competition provides a platform to showcase and demonstrate their engineering prowess and compete with other similar teams. This motivates and shapes them to be a better engineer.

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Khuloudo further responded to the challenges of the competition stating that even the initial process of filling up the competition form pose as a challenge in participating the competition, as an individual and as a team. “The dynamic nature of the competition also compels to define the criteria of a team leader,” he said.

While talking about leadership role in leading the IIT Bombay rocket team, we asked Khuloudo the challenges. He elucidated on the panoramic process of the competition describing that the team under the intendance of the leader has to analyze designs, build, test and launch rockets with a payload size of 8.8 pounds and target altitudes of either 10,000 or 30,000 ft using chemical propulsion types (solid, liquid, and hybrid).

Khuloudo described the competition as partly an academic conference and partly as design-build-fly style competition. He illustrated how the competition provides students, faculty, industry representatives, and amateur aerospace aficionados the opportunity to network with leading organization in the aerospace community.

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While stating that each rocket has an intricate story to tell Khuloudo Maikho added how the study of space is not perpended by majority of people in the community. He adverted to his leadership in the competition as the beginning of flying into the reality of his childhood dreams.

Reminding of how his aerospace journey can act as a motivation to other space aspiring students, he the boy from Purul shared his future prospects in venturing further into the space of space and rockets.

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