Pakistani engineer receives international recognition for contributions to NASA software code

Ahmad Awais, an engineer from Pakistan, has been internationally recognised for his expert contributions in mankind’s first-ever attempt at controlled flight on the surface of Mars.

He contributed code to the software for the Mars 2020 helicopter mission, also known as NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter. Last month, the helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet.

The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover.

Awais, who has so far not been appreciated by the government officials, has been recognized by the US Embassy in Islamabad.

“Pakistani developers are truly making their mark in the world. #DidYouKnow Ahmad Awais (@MrAhmadAwais), a Pakistani award-winning open-source engineer, contributed code to the software for the Mars 2020 helicopter mission, also known as NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter?,” read a message on US Embassy Islamabad’s official Twitter account.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Awais has thanked the embassy for appreciating his work.

“I’m incredibly humbled that my teeny-tiny open-source contribution was part of humankind’s first successful attempt at a powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet,” Ahmad Awais tweeted.

The award-winning open source engineer, last month, announced his achievement on twitter. He wrote, “My Open Source Contribution to NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Made it to Mars”.

“I mean, through open-source, I contributed code to the software of Mars 2020 Helicopter Mission — NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter.

“I can’t believe it. I’m here on Earth, but my code is on Mars. A small contribution but it means a whole lot to me, more than any of you can imagine,” he added.

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