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An Indian could lead the first outing of perseverance | India News


MELBOURNE / MUMBAI: When the Perseverance rover starts rolling on Mars, possibly next week, an Indian could be among the 14 on the console. “It’s a short forward, followed by a twist and a retreat (backtrack),” Vandana “Vandi” Verma, Mars 2020 chief robotics operations engineer, told TOI.
“Since this is the first unit, we will divide it into segments and collect a large amount of data and images for analysis.” The daughter of an IAF fighter pilot, Verma was born in Jamnagar in Gujarat and kept moving. “I grew up surrounded by airplanes,” she said. “When I got my pilot’s license in the United States, I didn’t tell my mom. She wouldn’t want me to do anything dangerous.
When I was little, the IAF did not accept women. In Pittsburgh, I went back a lot … even in France. “” When I was seven years old, they gave me a book on space and astronomy. Then, I would go to the library after school, choose a book on space and astronomy, climb a tree and read, “he said.
He earned his doctorate in robotics from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1994 and began “driving” on Mars in 2008 – Spirit, Chance, Curiosity and, now, Perseverance. “Driving a rover is a lot of fun! You have to have the mentality of an explorer, an engineer and a robotist, ”said Verma. “You think of all the obstacles it will encounter, like the rover slipping … We don’t have second chances.”

Times of India