KARACHI: Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Culture Sharmila Farooqui on Wednesday inaugurated moon rock fragment exhibition at National Museum Karachi.
Speaking on the occasion, Farooqui said that the rock was put on exhibition after 12 years and thanked NASA scientist Zainab Nagin Cox and United States for giving opportunity to Pakistani students to look at the piece of rock from moon and Pakistan flag taken on Apollo 17 flight.
She said that these things would create more enthusiasm among Pakistan students to study regarding space sciences.
Speaking on the occasion, Zainab Nagin Cox shared her two experiences of sending rovers at Mars in 2004 and 2011. She said that NASA decided to send two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, in 2003, which landed on Mars on January 2004.
She also described six minutes of terror, a time when everyone in NASA control room was holding his or her breath hoping for a safe landing of two rovers.
“We were waiting for a signal from our rovers but no signal was received till 15 minutes, as the rover sends satisfactory landing report through a blink after five minutes,” she said adding that after 17 minutes, when everyone in the control room from all the countries also involved in the manufacturing of the rovers had almost given up hope, there was a signal.
She said that water was found on that mission but it was not found that for how long it was there. She said that the next rover, Curiosity, was sent on the moon, whose name was suggested by a sixth grader Clara Ma, who won an essay competition to name it.
She said that the scientist built a car-size rover but they were not sure about its landing procedure, however, lately, they explored the Gale Crater, which has a mountain taller than Mount Everest right in the centre, and which was suitable to land it.
She also showed a video showing expressions from people at NASA control room and other parts of the country when Curiosity safely touched down on Mars on Aug 5, 2012.
Acting US counsel General and Superintendent National Museum Mohammad Shah Bokhari also addressed the audience. Several children from different schools and NASA and US Consulate programs also participated in the inaugural function.