Udayavni Special

Meet Swati Mohan, Indian-American scientist who landed NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars


Team Udayavani, Feb 19, 2021, 11:23 AM IST

NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully touched down on the surface of Mars on Thursday after surviving a blazing seven-minute plunge through the Martian atmosphere. It took a nail-biting of 11 1/2 minutes for the signal to reach the earth

Among the scientists who are part of this historic mission is an Indian-American lady, Dr. Swati Mohan. She spearheaded the development of attitude control and the landing system for the rover.

“Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking signs of past life,” flight controller Swati Mohan announced

Perseverance, the biggest, most advanced rover ever sent by NASA, became the ninth spacecraft to successfully land on Mars, every one of them from the U.S.

Early Life

Swati Mohan emigrated to America from India when she was just one-year-old and spent her childhood in the Northern Virginia-Washington DC metro area.

It is said that she was inspired to pursue her interest in space exploration after she watched ‘Star Trek’ at the age of 9.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University and completed her MS and Ph.D. from MIT in Aeronautics/Astronautics.

Swati Mohan has been associated with the project since its inception and has been working on it for seven years. She has also been a part of various important NASA missions. Swati Mohan worked on projects Cassini (a mission to Saturn) and GRAIL (a pair of formation flown spacecraft to the Moon)

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