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Explore Alliance Ambassadors - Vachik Khachatryan

Explore Alliance Ambassador - Vachik Khachatryan

Armenia
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From his childhood Vachik was always curious about knowledge seeking as well as creating things with his hands, to see how the law of nature worked in action. He loved general STEM directions and applied to the physics department of Yerevan State University.

Vachik acquired his Ph.D. degree in experimental nuclear physics. His research was dedicated to the abundance of matter in the Universe, especially the Oxygen and Carbon synthesis in the stars. He worked several years doing research in nuclear physics at A. Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory(Armenia), as well as at the Jlab (USA).

While doing his MS in 2016 he got involved in an extracurricular group called AYAS (Armenian Youth Aerospace Society). The course was dedicated to physics, aviation, astronomy, and astronautics. The tutor (Avetik Grigoryan) was explaining these complicated subjects so comprehensibly that Vachik, even being an MS student, took the class to learn this unique method of teaching. After finishing the course he started to teach the same course in another school for a year. Then he was involved in research aspects of AYAS as well, with his students proposing and developing a new method for asteroid deflection, launching weather balloons, and so on. After being deeply involved in AYAS activities and always dreaming of having his lab, Vachik, and other AYAS graduates founded a space research laboratory called Bazoomq, where now he is currently working full time doing research in high altitude balloon platforms, CubeSats, and satellite onboard image processing projects.

Outreach 

Vachik’s interest in telescopes started in 2015 when he made a small refractor telescope to watch the moon eclipse. After he posted these pictures on social media, a local amateur astronomers club(Goodrick John NGO) noticed him and gave him a reflector telescope as a gift. Vachik became a member of the NGO and started actively participating in astronomy outreach events having more than 500 people in the stargazing events. After several years of being an active member, he left the group to be more concentrated on his research.

Always having the development of  STEM fields in Armenia in his mind, Vachik and his brother founded an online shop for telescopes, books, science toys, a science blog, and more. The initiative is called SpaceShop 42 which is already an official dealer for Explore Scientific.

Involving students, and pupils from different regions of Armenia the team became a 21-century business, working all online using minimum resources and giving maximum output. Besides being an ordinary shop the team is doing astro-tours, public stargazing events with science talks, workshops for telescope usage, and more. The biggest event was Starmus days in Armenia, where the SpaceShop42 team in collaboration with Explore Scientific organized a fantastic star party at the city Garni, with more than 20 telescopes.

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