The agency said in a release on Thursday that an Indian-origin engineer named Amit Kshatriya has been appointed to head NASA’s new Moon to Mars program.
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An Indian-origin software and robotics engineer has been appointed as first head of American space agency NASA’s newly-established Moon to Mars programme. With this programme, NASA plans to ensure a long-term presence on the Moon to prepare for humanity’s next giant leap to the Red Planet. Mr Kshatriya will serve as first head of the office, with immediate effect, the agency said in a release on Thursday. This new office resides within the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, reporting to its Associate Administrator Jim Free, it added.
“The Moon to Mars Program Office will help prepare NASA to carry out our bold missions to the Moon and land the first humans on Mars,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “The golden age of exploration is happening right now, and 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.”
Functions like hardware development, mission integration and risk management will be a part of the programme. It will use Artemis missions at the Moon to open a new era of scientific discovery and prepare for human missions to Mars.
In an interview with the BBC, NASA official Howard Hu said humans might live on the moon this decade if the present Artemis mission was successful.
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