Indian engineer will oversee NASA's ambitious Moon-to-mars mission
Amit Kshatriya, an Indian-born software and robotics expert, has been appointed as the first director of NASA's new Moon to Mars Programme Office at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
The new office aims to carry out NASA's initiatives for Earth's and Mars's benefit.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the "Moon to Mars Programme Office will assist NASA plan to carry out our ambitious missions to the Moon and land the first humans on Mars."
The "golden era of exploration" is underway, and this new office will help NASA establish a long-term lunar presence for the next major human trip to Mars.
Also read; Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in NASA
The Moon to Mars Programme Office handles hardware development, mission integration, and risk management for programmes essential to the agency's exploration approach, which uses Artemis missions at the Moon to usher in a new era of scientific discovery and prepare for manned Mars missions as directed by the 2022 NASA Authorization Act.
Space Launch System rockets, Orion ships, auxiliary ground systems, spacesuits, and other deep space exploration gear are included.
The new office will plan and analyse long-term Mars missions.
- Kshatriya's reports will go to assistant administrator Jim Free. Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate manages it (ESDMD).
- Kshatriya led and integrated many Common Exploration Systems Development programmes as acting constable associate administrator before the new office was established.
- Kshatriya's new job involves planning and executing human Moon and Mars missions.
He will oversee Artemis and Mars's planning, development, and operations to ensure ESDMD compliance as the risk management focal point.
Kshatriya joined the space programme in 2003 as a software, robotics, and spacecraft operator. He focused on the robotic International Space Station building.
- From 2014 to 2017, he led multinational space station flight crews in all phases of flight.
After being appointed as deputy and then acting manager, he managed ISS Vehicle Office sustaining engineering, logistics, and hardware programme management from 2017 to 2021.
In 2021, he became an assistant deputy associate administrator in the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters and helped bring back the Artemis I spacecraft, which was designed to carry people to the Moon.
Kshatriya, a first-generation Indian immigrant, earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from The University of Texas in Austin.
As the lead flight director for the 50th space station expedition and the senior robotics officer on the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Dragon demonstration mission, he got the Silver Snoopy and NASA Outstanding Leadership Award.
ALSO READ: NASA and SpaceX postpone the Crew-6 astronaut mission till February 27