WASHINGTON – A Pakistani girl who stood up against Taliban will now be seen in space.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have named an asteroid in honor of a Pakistani 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, also an education activist.
The asteroid is located in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter and was discovered by an astronomer Dr Amy Mainzer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, USA.
According to Dr.Amy Mainzer, NASA has named the newly discovered Asteroid 316201 after Malala. Asteroid 316201 is now known as “Malala 316201.” It is about 4km in diameter, and its surface is very dark. It orbits the sun every five and a half years.
Dr.Mainzer said, “It is a great honor to be able to name an asteroid after Malala. My postdoctoral fellow Dr. Carrie Nugent brought to my attention the fact that although many asteroids have been named, very few have been named to honor the contributions of women (and particularly women of color).”
Writing on the Malala Fund Blog, she also said “We desperately need the brainpower of all smart people to solve some of humanity’s most difficult problems, and we can’t afford to reject half the population’s.”
It is pertinent to mention here that Malala Yousafzai received a joint Nobel Peace Prize with Kailash Satyarthi in December 2014. She started a campaign to bring education to girls in Pakistan as an 11-old girl, writing a blog about the conditions in Swat Valley in North-western Pakistan. She was shot in the head by Taliban in 2012, barely surviving the attack. Her campaign to bring education to girls has since gone global.
Meanwhile, NASA scientists have said that we’ll find signs of alien life by 2025.
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