Rijendra Thapa is currently enrolled as master first year student of Physics at St.Xavier’s College affiliated to Tribhuwan University and he is a founder of the Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO). He was interviewed in Daejeon as one of the recipients of the IAC 2009 Youth Grants programme.

Have you been to an IAC before?

Actually this is the first time I have ever left my nation! Without being the support of the IAF Youth Grants, I could not have come here to Daejeon.

And how are you finding the experience so far?

Great! It's interesting to be amongst great personalities. It has been good to see Daejeon, trying out the food! It is especially great to be here and learn. I have already done many things here.

What has been your favourite moment?

Every situation I have found myself in has been fabulous and I have learned many things. I took part in a Plenary - the first time there has ever been a Plenary dedicated to youth. My paper upon Vedic cosmology was presented. I was lucky to be there and it was an exciting experience. In one word it has been “awesome”!

What are your plans for the future?

I am a physicist and I am trying to discover the space sector and see how a physicist can be involved. Space science education is not well known in Nepal. I would like to take many things back to my country and share them. These include my experiences at both the IAC and the Space Generation Congress. I would like to inspire people back in Nepal to study in the space science sector. This involves the government of Nepal, developing a network and initiating space science education from primary to university. I would like to thank the IAF for providing this opportunity, especially to students like me from developing nations. We all came here and experienced it. I would love to come back next year! The interview with Rijendra Thapa can be found on the iafastro YouTube site here. The other Youth Grant interviews by Brooke Owens are available on the IAF’s YouTube channel. Look for keywords “iac 2009 youth grants”.