ISLAMABAD: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) astronaut Scott Altman on Wednesday visited Institute of Space Technology (IST) and met students and shared his experiences with them.

Mr Altman and ex-associate director of Astrophysics Projects Division at Goddard Space Flight Center Nasa Mansoor Ahmed delivered their keynote speeches.

The lectures were part of series of keynote talks in the Sixth International Conference on Aerospace Science and Engineering commenced at IST.

Mr Altman shared his experiences of the challenges faced during the missions along with the mission objective, design and applications of Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

He further enlightened the audience that the need for continuous servicing of HST is required due to the installation requirement of latest hardware and state of the art technology for getting best results possible.

Mr Altman was a part of the astronaut team on two out of five servicing missions of HST which involved dangerous space walks and delicate repairs. Mr Altman is a veteran of four space flights who logged over 51 days in space and is currently serving as Senior Vice President for Civil Programs for the ASRC Federal Engineering, Aerospace and Mission Systems.

Mr Altman, who performed aerial stunts while doubling as Tom Cruise’s pilot character in the 1985 movie “Top Gun” before becoming an astronaut, has logged more than 7,000 hours in over 40 types of aircraft.

Mr Mansoor Ahmed gave insights into the repairing of Hubble Space Telescope (HST). He described servicing iterations, planning, engineering, coordination and challenges faced during the service missions launched by Nasa.

Mr Ahmed spent most of his career in servicing of HST in different roles and also as deputy project manager for the latest James Webb Space Telescope.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2019