Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry erroneously says Suparco sent Hubble Telescope to space

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ISLAMABAD: The federal minister for science and technology on Sunday mistakenly said the Hubble Space Telescope was sent into space by Pakistan’s aeronautics and aerospace research agency instead of its US counterpart, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Speaking in Geo News programme Naya Pakistan, Science & Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry mentioned that “the world’s biggest telescope … was sent by Suparco [Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission]”.

Chaudhry told talk show host Shahzad Iqbal: one of the ways to see is the Hubble Telescope, which is the world’s biggest telescope and was sent [into space] by Suparco, which is installed in a satellite.

“Then there are other satellites, and there are other [types of] technologies,” he continued.

Needless to say, social media reacted as it does to the federal science minister’s amusing slip-up.

It is noteworthy that the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched into Earth’s orbit in April 1990, travels about five miles per second and each orbit takes 96 minutes. It orbits 350 miles above Earth and its discoveries have been the basis of 35,000 published research papers.

At the start of this year, the NASA had counted down to a historic flyby of the farthest, and quite possibly the oldest, cosmic body ever explored by humankind — a tiny, distant world called Ultima Thule — in the hopes of learning more about how planets took shape.

Ultima Thule (pronounced TOO-lee) was discovered in 2014 with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Interestingly, however, Chaudhry had made a unique statement in November last year — when he was the minister of information — stating that “there are some politicians who are creating chaos on the ground and should be sent to space.”

“I will ask SUPARCO to ensure that once these politicians go to space, they cannot return,” he had said.

Chaudhry had noted that that was an apt solution as these politicians will leave Pakistan for good and never return.

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