Nasa’s Perseverance Mars rover scripted history earlier this year by successfully landing on the red planet. Nearly seven months after its takeoff, the Perseverance rover landed at Mars’ Jezero Crater on February 19.
You will be perplexed to know that Nasa’s life-on-Mars mission valued at $3 billion is being controlled by an Indian-origin scientist from his one-bedroom apartment in London. Yes, you read it right.
Professor Sanjeev Gupta, a scientist with Nasa is controlling the Mars rover ‘Perseverance’ from his flat in south London. Professor Gupta was supposed to be at mission control in California but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he could not make his physical presence at NASA.
“I should be at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, in a series of offices each one about three times bigger than this lounge, full of hundreds of scientists and engineers with their heads buried in laptops surrounded by large screens,” Professor Sanjeev Gupta told the Daily Mail.
When he found out that he would not be able to work out of mission control in California, Professor Sanjeev Gupta decided to rent a one-bedroom flat in Lewisham.
I did not want to disturb the sleep of my wife and children, he told the UK publication.
Professor Gupta has turned his rented apartment into a mini control centre with at least five computers and two other screens for video conferences with fellow scientists at Nasa.
One of Nasa’s leading scientists working on the Perseverance Mars rover, Professor Gupta is a geology expert at London’s Imperial College.
Accompanied by a team of nearly 400 scientists, Professor Sanjeev Gupta is directing the Perseverance rover to drill for samples on Mars. These samples will be transported back to Earth by 2027.