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Tue Feb 23, 2021, 05:32 PM

The face of the Perseverance landing was an Indian American woman

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/19/world/swati-mohan-nasa-perseverance-landing-scn-trnd/index.html



(CNN)It was Swati Mohan who first delivered the news to earthlings that NASA's Perseverance rover had successfully landed on Mars.

"Touchdown confirmed," she announced to roaring applause from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life."
You might have seen her in the front row of the control room, bindi on her forehead, providing constant updates to the team as mission commentator for the historic landing. But before that nail-biting moment, Mohan had been working for years to make it all happen.

Mohan, an Indian American who moved to the United States when she was a year old, is the guidance and controls operations lead for the Perseverance rover mission, acting as the "eyes and ears" for NASA's most sophisticated spacecraft to date.
Not only is Mohan a pivotal player in the effort to determine whether there was ever life on the red planet; she's also a reflection of the progress NASA has made in reflecting the nation it represents.

Her passion for space started with 'Star Trek'
Mohan has been interested in space ever since she saw her first "Star Trek" television episode at age 9. It opened up her world to the beauty and expanse of the universe.

"I remember thinking 'I want to do that. I want to find new and beautiful places in the universe,'" she recalled in a Q&A on NASA's website. "The vastness of space holds so much knowledge that we have only begun to learn."
Still, she thought she would grow up to become a pediatrician. It wasn't until she took her first physics class at age 16 that she began considering a career in engineering, which would allow her to follow her childhood dreams of exploring space.


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Reply The face of the Perseverance landing was an Indian American woman (Original post)
IronLionZion Feb 23 OP
dutch777 Feb 23 #1
FM123 Feb 23 #2

Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 05:45 PM

1. In the pre-landing coverage it was heartening to see so many women and people of color

in leadership and major management positions. There may still be a ways to go from the years of the 'Hidden Figures' relegated to the basement, but lots of progress is good to see. And for some this was their second or third rodeo so its been building for awhile. And talk about "planting" it, waaaaaayyyyy cool! I hope all the tests and systems survived the trip, landing, temperatures and dust but just the getting it all there, where they wanted it, in one piece, was amazing. Hats off too to Gene Roddenberry for projecting a positive vision for space exploration that inspired generations of boy and girls.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 07:00 PM

2. Yes!

Her passion for space started with 'Star Trek'
Mohan has been interested in space ever since she saw her first "Star Trek" television episode at age 9. It opened up her world to the beauty and expanse of the universe.


Me too. My father (now 92) and I used to watch Star Trek together back in the '60s when I was a little girl. It was thrilling to watch the rover landing together the other day, just like old times....

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