Mumbai boy, Shyam Bhaskaran to execute NASA's historic flyby
New Delhi : Good news! A mumbaiker will have its imprint on Nasa's New Horizon spacecraft's trajectory while executing an historic flyby of the most distant object Ultima Thule in the solar system. The execution will take place at around 11 am (IST) on Tuesday.
Shyam Bhaskaran from Mumbai will be playing a key role in navigating the spacecraft to Ultima Thule, which was discovered just four years ago.
Bhaskaran of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was born in 1963 at a clinic in Matunga. He has navigated a number of NASA mission and while talking to media he seemed to be recalling his days in Kenilworth, Pedder Road, which housed the department of atomic energy.
Regarding the challenges involved in NASA mission, he said that compare to the flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015, Ultima Thule which is nearly six billion km from Pluto, was easier since there were no objects around. "But it was not without challenge because we have never done such an encounter of an object which was unknown, small and dark. Finding the object is difficult." he explained. To inform, Ultima Thule is a traditional name of distant places beyond the known world.
Today, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly 3,500 km above the surface of Ultima Thule. This distance is three times closer to how far it was from Pluto.
Shaym Bhaskaran said that at 4am on Sunday, the navigation team revealed that everything looked fine with respect to navigating the spacecraft.