Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover: From Launch to Landing
Swati Mohan, Ph.D.
Sunday, May 15, 2022
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Monthly Meeting – Public Invited
The Mars 2020 mission was created to build off of the discoveries of its predecessors. The previous 4 rovers had found the building blocks for life on Mars. The Mars 2020 perseverance rover is the most advanced rover of the set, with each upgrade carefully designed to fit as much of the heritage Curiosity design as possible. Envisioned in 2012, launched in 2020, and landing on February 18, 2021 in the midst of a global pandemic, Perseverance made history as the 5th rover to land on Mars. Its express mission is to seek the signs of past life. Perseverance is the first leg of an ambitious program of Mars Sample Return. The samples collected by Perseverance could one day tell us whether there was past life on Mars. This talk will detail the scientific roadmap of the previous Mars rover missions, detail the evolution of landing technology, the augmentation of Perseverance to include Terrain Relative Navigation, and finally describe Perseverance’s journey from launch to landing.
Dr. Swati Mohan joined NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory first in 2004, after completing her B.S from Cornell University in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. After working as a systems engineer on Cassini during Saturn Orbit Insertion and Huygens Probe release, she returned to graduate school in 2005 to MIT. Dr. Mohan received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics/Astronautics from the MIT Space Systems Laboratory. Since her return to JPL in 2010, Dr. Mohan has worked on multiple missions such as GRAIL and OCO-3. For the past 8 Years, she has been the Lead Guidance, Navigation and Controls Systems Engineer for Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, focusing on Cruise and EDL. In 2020, she transitioned to Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Operations lead and mission commentator for the landing of the Perseverance rover on February 18, 202. She is currently the supervisor of the Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Systems Engineering group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is working on the Mars Sample Retrieval Lander. Swati also co-founded and manages the Small Satellite Dynamics Test bed.