By now, most of us would have seen and appreciated brilliant images of far and old galaxies beamed back by NASA's US$10 billion (RM44.5 billion) James Webb Telescope, which is a far improved version of its predecessor the Hubble Telescope.
But how many of us know that a Petaling Jaya resident had a hand in creating a component for this fantastic machine? Meet former aeronautics engineer Satyan Anandarishnan, 63, who helped create the sunshield that protects the telescope.
News portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) spoke to Satyan about his work for NASA and how he came about creating the five layers of tennis court-sized sheets made of reflective and insulating material.
Growing up in India, Satyan loved two things - science, and flying, thus, it was natural for him to look to the skies when it came to choosing a career.
Satyan took up aeronautical engineering, and while studying in the US, he came across the chance to work for NASA, and he snapped it up.
"One of my classmates was working on the Hubble Space Telescope and said there were job openings, which is how I got involved," he told the portal.
Satyan had worked with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman - which are both contractors for NASA, and this was when he got the chance to meet many talented minds from the space agency.
"I was very fortunate that the teams I worked with were extremely competent people who were also very nice.
"Think of it as a F1 car. We are not Lewis Hamilton. We are in the factory designing and building the car so it does what it needs to do," he quipped, in reference to the minute attention to detail needed to ensure that nothing went wrong with the telescopes once they were in space.
Elaborating on his work with the sunshield on the James Webb Telescope, Satyan stressed it was crucial as the satelitte operated at a temperature of -230°C, and any sudden exposure of heat could risk damaging it.
Having the shield is one thing, folding and unfolding sheets the size of five tennis courts if another challenge altogether. The systems Satyan helped design ensures the shield always faces the sun, keeping the telescope from danger.
According to him, the initial three weeks after the telescope's launch to space last December was nerve-wracking, as he had to constantly contact his colleagues in NASA for updates.
"It’s not like fixing a phone where you download an update and everything’s working again. If the telescope is broken, you can’t bring it to the shop to have it fixed."
Satyan said that the James Webb Space Telescope is an important achievement for humanity as it does not only help scientists understand the universe, and our origins, better.
Photos source: FMT
Fri Jul 29 2022
Beware: The Danger of Joining Non-Beneficial WhatsApp Groups
Sometimes, we join WhatsApp groups that are not really significant to us. This is the danger of doing so...
Meet the 69-Year-Old Lift Operator 'Guiding' People for Four Decades
At a time when most youngsters complain about being confined in a cubicle for eight hours a day, 69-year-old G. Kannipan has been working in a supermarket lift for the last 40 years, and he has no plans to quit anytime soon.
Meet The Selfless Woman Who Raised 45 Children As Her Own
Jasmine Selvarani Emmanuel has 45 children calling her mother, but none of them came from her womb. She and her late husband dedicated their lives to adopting children who needed love. This is their selfless story...
Food Going To Waste? Call the Food Rangers!
What do you do when you don't want excess food from your function to go to waste? Call the Food Rangers of course!
High Court Denies Indira Gandhi's Bid to Cite IGP for Contempt
The Ipoh High Court today denied leave to kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi to begin contempt proceedings against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for his failure to locate and return her daughter Prasana Diksa.
Malaysian Singer-Songwriter Heerraa Scores Double Victory at US Music Awards Competition!
Malaysian singer-songwriter Heerraa Ravindran has scored a double victory at the InterContinental Music Awards Competition (ICMA) held last Sunday.
Meet the Man Who Has Not Bathed in 22 Years!
Dharamdev Ram, 62, from Bihar, India, has not bathed for 22 years! But he has stuck to his decision for a noble cause, and not because he's lazy. Here's why...
World's Sweetest Job: Company Looking for 'Chief Candy Officer' With RM28k Monthly Salary
A Canada-based candy company is offering what is probably the world's sweetest job - a work-from-home 'Chief Candy Officer' that pays a salary of US$78,000 (RM347,646) a year.
Controversial Preacher Zamri Vinoth Charged with Hurting, Threatening Woman
Controversial Muslim preacher Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu has been charged with hurting and threatening to murder a woman.
'Nuisance': Nepal Bans TikTokers at Popular Heritage Sites
Tired by the nuisance posed by wannabe stars, Nepal has imposed a ban on TikTokers at some of its popular heritage sites.
Rap Porkalam S2 contestants got a track for the celebration round. Watch here
Watch the judges’ interview as Yogi B and Navin Navigator share their experience in the celebration round.
Anyone needs tissue? Watch the unseen clips of episode 12 to know why.
“Ningge rende perum en kanne maathiri”. Who said this to whom?
“It’s Rap Porkalam, Kozhanthe Kozhanthe? Not sure what is this about? Watch the behind the scenes of the episode 12 know what it means.
10 Kollywood Movies that Featured More than One Composer
Check out these 10 Kollywood movies that featured more than one music composer...
Protein and Calcium Packed, This is Why We Should Add Paneer into Our Daily Diet
There are numerous health benefits associated with consuming the protein-powerhouse Paneer.
Top 10 Saree Inspirations from Actress Samantha's Closet!
We've listed ten saree looks from Samantha's closet to get you inspired. Check it out!
Tasty Maracurry Mess Recipes Fresh from The Pot!
Maracurry Mess is a show airing on Astro Vaanavil (Ch201), featuring renowned local chef Rajesh Subramaniam whipping up delicious vegetarian dishes.
Six Tips to Avoid Getting Stressed in a Traffic Jam
Nowadays, getting stuck in bad traffic is inevitable, but how we cope to it is what matters. Below are six tips on what to do if you find yourself in a bumper-to-bumper crawl...