Moroccan Asma Boujibar receives $300,000 from NASA

Moroccan Asma Boujibar receives $300,000 from NASA

May 1, 2024 – 9:00 PM – The World

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Moroccan scientist Asma Boujibar, assistant professor of planetary sciences at Western Washington University (WWU) in the United States, has received a $300,000 grant from NASA to research the formation of the planet Mercury.

Asma Boujibar will use the grant to analyze data collected by NASA's MESSENGER probe, which orbited Mercury between 2011 and 2015. She will do this in collaboration with her students and other researchers.

Read also: Asma Boujibar is the first Moroccan woman in NASA

In her laboratory, Asma Bojibar can create conditions similar to those found on Mercury. “We can simulate the interiors of planets, including Earth, in our high-pressure, high-temperature laboratory,” she explains. “We combine surface data with experiments to determine the interior shape of the planet and get a complete picture of the planet’s composition.”

The NASA grant will enable Asma Boujibar and her team to use advanced models to study complex patterns on Mercury's surface. “We can now use machine learning to process this massive data set and identify patterns that we cannot see using traditional mathematical techniques,” Boujibar said.

Asma Boujibar's findings will provide valuable insights into Mercury's history, present and future. It will also be useful for the BepiColombo mission, a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that will be launched to Mercury in December 2025.

Read also: Moroccan Asma Boujibar will work at NASA

Asma Boujibar hails from Casablanca and has been passionate about space research from an early age. She was the first Moroccan woman to work at NASA.

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