NASA photo via Twitter
Two Asian Americans played a key role in the landing of the NASA Perseverance rover on Mars.
Indian American scientist Dr Swati Mohan announced “Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance is safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life,” she said to cheers.
You can watch the moment here:
Filipino American engineer Gregorio Villar III spent more than seven years building and testing a system that would land a car-sized rover on Mars, according to the United States Embassy in Manila, reported the Philippine News Agency.
“As we celebrate the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars, did you know that Fil-Am engineer Gregorio Villar III helped with its safe landing as the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Systems Engineer of the Mars 2020 mission?” it said in its official Twitter account.
Villar is also credited with overseeing a Mars parachute test campaign at NASA Ames Research Center.
He went to high school in the Philippines and graduated from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona in physics.
“I started interning at JPL in 2010 and got hired full-time in 2012,” he said in his reflections posted at the NASA Mars Exploration Program website.
According to Indian Express, Mohan came to the US from India at the age of one with her family. She graduated from Cornell and earned a PhD from MIT.
She has been an inspiration to many.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or making a financial contribution to support us.