Till now, we had only seen interplanetary travel and life on other celestial bodies in sci-fi movies or children’s fictional books. But a student from Chennai has not only conceived this idea but also built a complete proposal around connecting Earth and Moon via elevators!  

Yes, according to Sai Kiran’s proposal, the construction of elevators between the Earth and the moon is not only possible but also the only cost-efficient way towards human settlement on the moon!

18-year-old Sai Kiran P. has won the second prize in the Grade 12 category in the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest, 2017, an annual contest by NASA Ames Research Center, San Jose State University, and National Space Society (NSS).

The contest received entries from students up to 12th grade for designing proposed human settlements on the Moon.


The teenager’s proposal is titled as ‘Connecting Moon, Earth and Space’ and ‘HUMEIU Space Habitats’ which entails the transportation of human species and their eventual settlement there.

Sai Kiran, a student of British International School, Chennai, had been working on this project since 2013 when he was living in Singapore. It was after he moved to Chennai that he started writing the thesis, in March last year. While talking to Deccan Chronicle, he said:

“The first segment of the project is about creating elevators that could transport humans and cargo to the Moon so that humans can form their settlements there. The most important aspect was that of gravity as without gravity, humans won’t be able to settle there.”

His idea of constructing elevators between two heavenly bodies mainly deals with the monetary aspect of sending humans via rockets. He also thinks that thorough studies are required before designing the elevators which could be either lunar-based or earth-based. 

In his own words:

“Since it is not economically viable, the only other way is to have faultless elevators connecting the Earth to the Moon, which will span a height of 40,000kms.”

Not only does his proposal talk about human settlement on the moon, it also includes the ideas of setting up recreation, entertainment, governance and agriculture there.

Not just Sai Kiran, around 138 students of different grades from India won awards in various categories in this contest! You can check the list of winners here.

Well, seems like real-life Interstellar isn’t so far away after all!