What Role Did Swati Mohan Play In NASA’s Rover Landing On Mars? Read Here
Washington: As NASA’s car-sized Perseverance rover landed on Mars on Thursday after being in space for seven months, Indians had a reason to rejoice.
Among the team behind the historic mission was Indian-American scientist Dr Swati Mohan.
“Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance is safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life,” Swati announced amid cheers in NASA’s mission control room in California.
Specifically, Swati spearheaded the development of attitude control and landing system of the rover, which was designed to explore Jezero crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission.
The attitude control system was crucial in the mission as it guided the rover to point in the necessary direction and also helped figure out where the spacecraft was oriented in space.
A graduate from Cornell University, Swati had previously been part of other NASA missions, including the Cassini mission to Saturn.
Swati was just a year old when her parents shifted base from India to the US. She loved watching the hugely popular science fiction series ‘Star Trek’, thus sowing the seeds of love for space from a young age.
In high school, she wanted to be a paediatrician before deciding to become an engineer and pursue her interest in space exploration.