Amit Kshatriya: NASA's 'Moon to Mars' head with roots in India, plans for space
NASA has recently set up an office for the purpose, which will be headed by Indian-American software and robotics engineer Amit Kshatriya.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently launched the Moon to Mars programme with an aim to establish agency's long-term presence on the Moon that is required to prepare astronauts to take the next giant leap to Mars. The agency has recently set up an office for the purpose, which will be headed by Indian-American software and robotics engineer Amit Kshatriya.
The new office will overlook NASA's crewed activities regarding its mission and will be the part of the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, which heads the agency's Artemis programme – an initiative to send astronauts back to lunar surface.
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Know about Amit Kshatriya:
- Decorated with the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Kshatriya earlier served as the agency's acting deputy associate administrator for the Common Exploration Systems Development Division.
- He is the son of first-generation Indian immigrants to the US. He studied Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology and did his Masters of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Texas.
- He began his career in the space programme in 2003 and worked as a software and robotics engineer. He also worked as spacecraft operator and assembled robotic features of the International Space Station.
- He also directed and provided leadership and integration for the Space Launch System, Orion and Exploration Ground Systems programmes. He also was associated with the Artemis Campaign Development Division initiative.
- He was a space station flight director between 2014 to 2017 and led global teams in the operations and execution of the space station during all phases of flight.
- In 2021, he was assigned as the assistant deputy associate administrator at the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate in NASA Headquarters.
- He was decorated with the leadership medal for his actions as the lead flight director for the agency's 50th expedition to the space station.
Learn here about the Moon to Mars programme:
- Kshatriya will be responsible to lead the programme planning and implementation for human missions to the Moon and Mars, according to the press release.
- According to NASA press release, the new office set up for the mission will carry out human exploration activities on the Moon and Mars for the benefit of humanity. "This new office will help ensure that NASA successfully establishes a long-term lunar presence needed to prepare for humanity’s next giant leap to the Red Planet," said NASA administrator Bill Nelson.
- The programme aims to use the agency's Artemis mission in order to open a new era of scientific discovery and prepare for human missions to Mars and the new office will focus on hardware development, mission integration and risk management functions that are required.
- The office will manage the development of Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, supporting ground systems, landing systems, spacesuits, gateway along with other components related to deep space exploration.
- The new office will also lead planning and analysis of long-lead developments to support human Mars missions, the release added.
(With PTI inputs)