PLEN-3: Swati Mohan: "Perseverance"

All times are Eastern Time (Toronto / New York)
Saturday, 5 June, 11:00 - 12:00 (Toronto Local Time, EDT, UTC -4)
Swati Mohan Guidance, Navigation, & Control Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory



On February 18th, 2021, the Perseverance rover touched down safely on the surface of Mars. Those final “7 minutes of terror” were preceded with years of hard work from the diverse team that formed the Mars 2020 Entry, Descent, and Landing team. This talk gives a glimpse into the personal life journey of Perseverance landing mission commentator, Dr. Swati Mohan. Dr. Mohan reflects on the life lessons that have helped her get to where she is today: 1) knowing yourself, 2) creating a support system, and 3) actively doing your best. These three tenets are described using stories from her past to highlight the importance in shaping her path, to JPL and to the Mars 2020 Entry, Descent, and Landing team.

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. Swati also co-founded and manages the Small Satellite Dynamics Testbed. 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. For the last year, her role was the Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Operations Lead. Dr. Mohan was the mission commentator for the landing of the Perseverance rover on February 18, 2021. She is currently the supervisor for the Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Systems Engineering group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.