AMU Alumna Dr Hashima Hasan plays a key role in the launch of NASA telescope


ALIGARH : Nothing could be so enthralling for an institution than its students reaching to the pinnacle of their career or becoming a celebrity in their respective field of academic quest. Aligarh Muslim University had a reason to feel merry this Christmas as one of its alumnae living in US became a reason to be proud of and cherish her association with the university.

A Lucknow-born AMU alumna, Dr Hashima Hasan, who got a postgraduate degree in Nuclear Physics at the Aligarh Muslim University during 1968 to 1973, has played a key role in NASA’s recent space missions, the December 25 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Dr Hasan, Deputy Programme Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, was part of the team on board when the world’s largest and most powerful telescope was launched from the European spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana on this Christmas day.

The James Webb Space Telescope, equipped with four instruments, will be positioned at a spot called Lagrange Point 2, 1.5m km from earth or more than four times beyond the moon. Its mission stretches from five to 15 years.

Dr Hasan’s student life at AMU brought her rich academic dividends and she gained a prestigious scholarship for higher studies in Nuclear Physics at the Oxford University. She also attended Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai for a postdoctoral degree and worked at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai before moving to the United States.

Dr Hasan has been involved in more than a dozen missions and she has been responsible to make sure that each project is successful, true to NASA strategic objectives. She also serves as the Education and Communication Lead for Astrophysics and as the executive secretary of the Astrophysics Advisory Committee.

She said that the time she spent at the Aligarh Muslim University played an important role in mentoring her for future successes.