Two Indian students have been selected as 'astronauts' after winning the 'Red Planet Rover goes to Mars' student astronaut essay contest, the Indian Planetary Society said.
The winners -- Saatvik Agarwal and Vignan Pattamatta -- will be part of a team of 'student astronauts' who will analyse Mars Exploration Rover mission images and data as they are received from the spacecraft, IPC said in a release.
The contest was held by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Lego company in association with IPS.
Each student astronaut will spend approximately a week in mission operations at the Jet Propulsion Lab in the US and will be among the first to see the new pictures from Mars.
For the contest, the students wrote an essay of about 1,500 words imagining themselves to be scientists working on the Red Rover.
They explained how they would use the Mars Exploration Rover over two Martian days to explore the Viking 1
The IPS received about 250 entries from all over the country, of which 10 national finalists were selected.