New consecration for Kamal Oudrhiri. A mission of the American Space Agency (NASA) led by the Moroccan has been awarded a prestigious prize in the field of space science and technology.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has awarded its most coveted prize in the field of space science to the “Cold Atom Lab” mission led by the Moroccan scientist, Kamal Oudrhiri.
The Cold Atom Lab team received the 2020 AIAA Space Science Award for “To have developed and delivered the very innovative Cold Atom Laboratory to the International Space Agency as well as for its fundamental scientific achievements”, Oudghiri said in a statement Thursday to MAP.
Project and Mission Leader, Kamal Oudrhiri congratulated everyone who helped design, build and successfully operate this very first quantum physics laboratory in space.
“The Cold Atom Lab project depends on the work of an entire team and the commitment to excellence of all those involved in this high-tech lab with the goal of fostering great science that expands our understanding of Earth. and the universe that surrounds us ”, he added.
The Cold Atom Lab has been operating from its perch on the International Space Station since July 2018. It cools atoms to near absolute zero, minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit, colder than any other known location in the natural universe.
« The experiments carried out at these extreme temperatures help us to understand how our world works on the smallest scale ”, specifies the Moroccan scientist.
Cold Atom Lab, a multi-use facility, is made up of a very prestigious scientific team including three Nobel Prize winners. The awards given by the AIAA organization reflect its commitment to ensuring that aerospace professionals are recognized and celebrated for their achievements, innovations and discoveries that “make the world safer, more connected, more accessible and more prosperous” .
Over the past two decades, the Moroccan scientist has assumed leadership roles in several important NASA missions: The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), the international Cassini mission to Saturn, the GRAIL mission, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) , the Juno Jupiter mission, the New Horizons mission to Pluto and recently the InSight mission to Mars and MarCO, Cubesat’s very first interplanetary mission.
The new distinction comes on top of several awards, including the prestigious Medal for Exceptional Service, in recognition of the sustained performance and multiple contributions of this scientist to NASA projects and programs.