NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology lab ever sent to another world, streaked through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday and landed safely inside a vast crater, the first stop on a search for traces of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet. This rover took off from the earth about 7 months ago.
NASA has achieved this feat under the leadership of Indian-American scientist Dr Swati Mohan. While the entire world was eyeing the historic landing of NASA’s rover, Indian-American scientist Swati Mohan was co-ordinating with the Navigation, and Controls-GN & C subsystem and the entire project team from the control room.
“Touchdown confirmed,” announced Mohan from the control room. “Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars,” she added.
Swati has been associated with the US Space Agency for quite some time and is very happy about this achievement.
Who is Swati Mohan?
Dr Swati Mohan is the Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls (GN&C) Operations Lead. She led the attitude control system of the Mars 2020 mission and was the lead systems engineer throughout the development.
Swati came to America as a child. She spent most of her childhood in the Northern Virginia-Washington DC metro area. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Cornell University and completed her MS and PhD from MIT in Aeronautics/Astronautics.
She has been a member of the Mars Rover Mission since its inception at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Apart from this, he has participated in many important missions. The Indian-American scientist has also worked on the Cassini (a mission to Saturn) and GRAIL (mission moon) projects. Swati is very excited about this success of NASA.
Like most children, Swati Mohan did not know what to do initially. Seeing ‘Star Trek’ for the first time when she was 9 years old, she thought of becoming a scientist to uncover the mysteries of the universe, but when she was 16, she expressed her desire to become a pediatrician.