On 19 February 2021, NASA has successfully landed its Perseverance rover on Mars. The rover landed at the Jezero crater which according to scientists was once flooded with water. Among the scientists who are part of this historic mission, Indian-American Dr Swati Mohan spearheaded the development of attitude control and the landing system for the rover. As soon as the rover landed, scientists and engineers at NASA's mission control in California erupted with joy.
Mohan who is the Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls (GN&C) Operations Lead, successfully spearheaded the development of attitude control and the landing system for the Perseverance. At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles, Swati Mohan was communicating and coordinating between the GN&C subsystem and the rest of the project's team.
Swati Mohan was the one who confirmed the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars. "Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance is safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life," she announced soon after the rover landed.
A video of the moment, released by NASA, shows Swati Mohan donning a small bindi on her forehead. And soon this piece of information became a talking point for netizens, who are proud of Dr Mohan.
Many took to Twitter to thank Dr Mohan for wearing a bindi, saying 'Beauty with brain, bindi & braids.'
Take a look: