A historic mission took place on 18th February, where NASA successfully landed its Perseverance rover on Mars. An Indian-American scientist, Dr Swati Mohan, has confirmed the landing. 

Picture credit: News week

The rover landed at the Jezero crater that was once flooded with water, according to scientists. Past studies have shown that life in the crater may have developed and that clays are highly likely to contain a rich fan-delta deposit.

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Scientists and engineers at NASA’s mission control in California burst with joy as soon as the rover landed.

The Indian American lady, Dr Swati and her team are among the scientists part of this historic mission. Dr Swati, who is the Operations Leader for Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls (GN&C), successfully led the development of attitude control and the Perseverance landing system. 

Picture credit: The Hindu

When the world was watching the dramatic landing, Swati was communicating and coordinating between the GN&C subsystem and the rest of the project team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles in the control room, calm and composed.

Swati Mohan migrated to the United States With Her Parents from India When She was a year old Toddler. Most of her childhood was spent in Northern Virginia-Washington, DC. 

Swati has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. She completed her MS and PhD from MIT in Aeronautics/Astronautics.

Since the beginning, Swati has been a key member of the Perseverance Rover mission and has also been part of various NASA missions. She also worked on Cassini, a mission to Saturn and GRAIL, a pair of spacecrafts flying to the moon.

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Swati decided to discover new and beautiful places in the universe after seeing the American science fiction Star Trek at the age of 9. Also, until she was 16, she wanted to become a paediatrician. 

The scientist later took an interest and became an engineer in physics. Her interest in space exploration was then pursued and she joined NASA. 

Dr Swati Mohan was the one who confirmed the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars.

“Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance is safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life,” she announced shortly after the rover landed.