Emaad Paracha's fascination with outer space began at a young age – he even studied Russian in high school as it’s required by NASA to become an astronaut.
And his journey of exploration is only beginning.
Now a PhD student in the Balloon Astrophysics Group at the University of Toronto, Paracha often finds himself liaising directly with the U.S. space agency as he works on some of the field’s biggest challenges.
Working with supervisor Barth Netterfield, a professor in the David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Physics in the Faculty of Arts & Science, Paracha was a key member of the team that launched the Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope, known as SuperBIT, earlier this year.
The telescope’s mission was a success, and the images it collected will help astrophysicists further our understanding of dark matter and the formation of the universe.
“I never really thought once I was graduating that I'd be doing a project like this,” says Paracha, who completed a master’s degree in physics at U of T and a bachelor’s degree in science from U of T Scarborough.