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The face of the Perseverance landing was an Indian American woman

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 18: In this handout image provided by NASA, Perseverance Mars rover mission commentator and guidance, navigation, and controls operations Lead Swati Mohan studies data on monitors in mission control, February 18, 2021 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet's geology and past climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

You might have seen her in the front row of the control room, bindi on her forehead, providing constant updates as mission commentator for the historic landing on Mars. Before that exciting moment, Swati Mohan had been working for years to make it all happen.

(CNN)It was Swati Mohan who first delivered the news to earthlings that NASA's Perseverance rover had successfully landed on Mars.

Mohan, an Indian American who moved to the United States when she was a year old, is the guidance and controls operations lead for the Perseverance rover mission, acting as the "eyes and ears" for NASA's most sophisticated spacecraft to date.

Before her work on Perseverance, Mohan was a part of space exploration efforts such as Cassini, a spacecraft that unearthed countless discoveries about Saturn, and GRAIL, a mission that sent twin spacecraft around the moon.

"During the cruise phase heading toward Mars, our job is to figure out how we are oriented, make sure the spacecraft is pointed correctly in space (solar arrays to sun, antenna to Earth), and maneuver the spacecraft to get it where we want to go," Mohan explained in a NASA Q&A.

And on Thursday, she was one of two voices heard in the control room and around the world -- explaining major milestones in NASA's first mission to search for signs of life on another planet.

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