Dr Bhavya Lal on Perseverance, space and landing a woman on the moon: In February this year, Dr Bhavya Lal made headlines with her appointment as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Acting Chief Of Staff. Under the Biden-Harris administration, she is one of the many Indian-origin women leading the fore.
As a prominent senior member of NASA, which Thursday landed the historic Perseverance rover on Mars, Lal has been sharing regular social media updates on Perseverance. Ahead of the landing, she expressed, “Today is the day – we’re almost at the finish line!”
As Perseverance touched base, sharing first updates and pictures from Mars, Lal congratulated her team: “We did it! Congratulations to the incredible team at @NASA & @NASAJPL… You show us again and again the very best of what humans are capable!!”
We did it! Congratulations to the incredible team at @NASA & @NASAJPL their hard work landing @NASAPersevere rover on Mars! You show us again and again the very best of what humans are capable!! https://t.co/WnmucOYIvf
— Bhavya Lal (@blal) February 18, 2021
Also part of the team that successfully landed Perseverance on Mars is Indian-origin scientist Swati Mohan. She heads NASA’s Operations for the Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls (GN&C). “Touchdown confirmed,” she uttered as the rover met the red base. More on her here.
Dr Bhavya Lal On Perseverance And More
Hailing NASA’s big rover landing, she beckoned the milestones yet to come, “including the first controlled flight attempt on another world and the first-ever sounds from Mars!”
Recently, Lal had opened up about feeling “super excited” about Perseverance’s aim to bring back samples from another planet.
Adding to this ambitious project, she spoke about two more, including the Artemis programme, “which will work with industry and international partners to land the first woman on the Moon, and then serve as a waypoint to prepare for Mars.”
She also talked about a joint ISRO-NASA programme scheduled for launch in 2022, set to be an Earth-observing mission. “It demonstrates the amazing things you can do when you collaborate,” she said.
More About Her
A leading researcher at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute for the White House Office, Dr Bhavya Lal has achieved expertise in engineering and innovation related to space science, satellites, space nuclear energy, and space exploration. She is an active member of the space technology and policy community.
The very best of what humans are capable: Dr Bhavya Lal on Perseverance and a successful landing
Lal holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nuclear engineering, as well as a Master of Science degree in technology and policy from MIT.
She had previously been serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defence Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020. Read more about her here.