In one of the much-awaited historic landing of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mars rover Perseverance pierced through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday. One of the scientists behind this historic mission, Indian-American Dr Swati Mohan has led the development of attitude control and the landing system for the rover, as per news agaency ANI. At the time of the touchdown, NASA engineer Dr Swati Mohan confirmed the news sitting in the control room while keeping her calm and composure. The bindi-clad Dr Mohan has remained involved in the project while coordinating between the GN&C subsystem and the rest of the team. Also Read: NASA Perseverance Rover Photos: After Seven Months, NASA Mars Rover Perseverance Touches Red Planet
Who is Swati Mohan?
Swati Mohan has been holding the position of the lead systems engineer during the development process besides overseeing the schedules the mission control staffing for GN&C. NASA scientist had moved to America soon after one year of her birth when she was just a year old. The scientist had grown up in the Northern Virginia-Washington DC metro area.
At the tender age of 9, she was curious to delve into the new regions of the universe after watching ‘Star Trek’ for the first time. It is when she decided to do explore and “find new and beautiful places in the universe.” However, she was also keen on becoming a pediatrician until she was 16. But she was greatly influenced by her first physics class and the “great teacher” that she decided to pursue “engineering” to explore her passion in space exploration.
Dr Mohan acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University and completed her MS and PhD from MIT in Aeronautics/Astronautics.
She has remained a critical member of the Perseverance Rover mission since the launch at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. She has also been a part of various important missions of NASA including projects Cassini (a mission to Saturn) and GRAIL (a pair of formation flown spacecraft to the Moon).