Mumbai Man Played Critical Role In NASA’s Historic Mission

A Mumbai man played a critical role in NASA’s one of the historic missions on 1st January 2019.

What was the mission?
On Jan. 1, 2019, the NASA with the help of the NEW HORIZON spacecraft probed a small farthest object which is named as Ultima Thula. It lies about 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond the orbit of Pluto. It is revealing our solar system’s deepest history—and, just maybe, revolutionizing planetary science.

This is the most detailed image of Ultima Thule Source: TheScientificAmerican.com

Confirmation for the success of the mission came when a radio message from the unmanned probe was picked up by one of the American space agency’s antennas in Madrid, Spain.

Shyam Bhaskaran from Mumbai:

Mumbai born Shyam Bhaskaran played a critical role in navigating this probe to this object which NASA just discovered just four years earlier. He works in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Image source of Dr Shyam Bhaskaran (Left). (Source: NASA/Twitter)

Shyam Bhaskaran still maintains ties with the city. He was born at Matunga in 1963. Bhaskaran said that his family lived in Kenilworth on Peddar Road, a locality where officials of the Department of Atomic Energy resided.

He attended nursery school at Kemps Corner. At the age of 5 years the family shifted to United States. He returned to visit the city in 1981 and met with relatives.

Speaking to TOI, Shyam said he would definitely visit the city once again. He also spoke of the technical challenges involved in navigating the New Horizon mission to Ultima Thule, although it wasn’t as hard as the flyby past Pluto since there weren’t any objects around.

“But it was not without challenges because we have never done such an encounter of an object which was unknown, small and dark. Finding the object is difficult,” he told Times of India.

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