Python in Space - Curiosity Sparks: a panel discussion at PyCon India 2021

PyCon India brings opportunities to get together, share, interact with awesome pythonistas, learn while having fun and get inspired. To trigger an exchange of viewpoints among experts and to create interesting discussions for the community we have planned a few panel discussions.

Python is being used at various levels from space exploration, navigation to black hole imaging and to analyze the wonders and mysteries of Space. Python is put to work to streamline space shuttle mission design and deep space exploration programs. It has also been used to fly robotic spacecraft to mars, jupiter, saturn and many other small bodies in the solar system.

Python playing an important role in many specific applications such as trajectory design and optimization, orbit determination, flight path control and more. EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) team extensively used Python for capturing the first ever image of a Black Hole in the galaxy Messier 87.

Therefore we thought of having a panel discussion "Python in Space" as a curiosity session to spark conversation between young Pythonistas and Scientists.

  • Stage: Stage 1 (Main Stage)
  • Date: 18 September 2021
  • Time: 16:30 to 17:30


Katherine Scott

Katherine Scott (@kscottz) is currently working with She holds a masters degree in computer science from Columbia University and dual engineering degrees from the University of Michigan. Prior to working at open robotics Katherine has worked as the image analytics team lead at Planet labs and she was a co-founder at Tempo Automation and Sight Machine.

Arthur Scholz

Artur Scholz is working with the European Space Agency as Spacecraft Operations Engineer. He is involved in the Cluster-II mission that studies the Earth’s magnetosphere and in the JUICE mission that will explore Jupiter and its icy moons. During his study time in Germany and Taiwan he has been leading student teams to develop two CubeSats (very small satellites), both of which were sent into space in 2008 and 2014.

Artur is actively promoting the idea of open source to space exploration and has given numerous talks on this topic. His vision is that everyone with the interest in space should be able to contribute. He founded the LibreCube Initiative to promote open source space engineering with a focus on harnessing the knowledge embodied in openly available international space standards. Almost all LibreCube projects are coded in Python, partly because of it's low entry barrier to new coders, but mostly because of its rich ecosystem.

Thomas Albin

Thomas Albin (@MrAstroThomas) is a data scientist, Solar System researcher and a Python developer. He worked as a Space Scientist and now works in the automotive industry. Thomas is an Astrophysicist at heart and does science for fun.

Kazunori Akiyama

Kazunori Akiyama (@sparse_k) is the member of the team who got the First image of a Black Hole - EHT, Event Horizon Telescope. The developer of SMILI, a python-interfaced library for interferometric imaging using sparse sampling techniques and other regularization methods. SMILI is mainly designed for very long baseline interferometry, and has been under active development primarily for the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

Kazunori is an astrophysicist at MIT Haystack Observatory and is primarily involved in the study of black holes. His current research interest is the nature of spacetime and material in the vicinity of a black hole.

Andrew Chael

Andrew Chael (@thisgreyspirit) is also the member of the team who got the First image of a Black Hole - EHT, Event Horizon Telescope. Andrew is an Astrophysicist working on simulating and imaging Black Holes with the Event Horizon Telescope. His current research interest is black holes, accretion disks & jets, MHD simulations, computational imaging, and other topics.

Andrew is a primary developer of ehtim (eht-imaging) a python framework for imaging using EHT data.

[Moderator] Praveen Patil

Praveen Patil (@_gnovi) is a Physics Teacher and a Free Software Enthusiast. He loves spending time with kids engaging them in making and breaking activities and promoting ‘learning by doing’.

We invite everyone to join this panel discussion. This could be THE event that ignites your passion to dive into the world of Python, persistently learn, discover and create so that you too can one day help us all understand a little more about the world beyond Earth. Excited to see you at PyCon India 2021.