Who Is Usha Guduri? Indian-Origin NASA Woman Finding Life On Mars

Usha Guduri
Usha Guduri is the woman behind the successful landing of Perseverance, a car-sized Mars rover designed to explore the crater Jezero on Mars.

Guduri, who was the Planning and Sequencing Subsystem Manager for mission Mars 2020, is a Software Systems Engineer.

According to Guduri’s bio, she managed several software projects for notable missions including Cassini, Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Dawn and Mars Science Laboratory.

She along with her team of three other Indian origin women planned for the landing day which was the result of hard work for over five years.

Usha Guduri is a mother to her four and a half-year-old daughter Moksha. According to a report, when Usha turned all red concerning the landing, Moksha jumped up and down enthusiastically. She even bought her daughter a Wall-E soft toy, a Disney space cartoon character.

Usha Guduri joined the project when she was five months pregnant with Moksha in 2016. On the day Guduri had to present the preliminary design for the NASA project, she went into labour. Her colleague took over when Guduri’s presentation came up and she rushed to the hospital.

Usha Guduri As A Software Developer For Almost Tow Decades Now

Guduri, who has over 18 years of experience in Software Development and Technical Leadership, is an alumna of BITS (Pilani), a premier institute in India, and USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.

According to the official website of NASA, Guduri’s motivation to join NASA was the vast expanse of stars that instilled a wonder of what lay beyond.

It added that back in the earlier days, Guduri used to sit on her terrace and see sci-fi series and movies of the 80s/90s and the only place she would want to be was s at NASA.

Guduri wanted to join the Indian Foreign Service, however, she believes that she hasn’t deviated much given that she is “serving as a liaison with planets, not just countries!”

Mission Mars 2020- A Game Changer

The mission is claimed to be a gamechanger for the NASA mars programme as this is the first time a rover will be sent there as the initial step to bringing back samples from Mars. The samples will help scientists investigate the astrobiology on the planet to find out whether life ever existed there.

Perseverance will drive itself on the surface of Mars for 200m per day and build a map of the terrain that it covers.

Read: Who Is Yogita Shah? The Avionics Domain Lead At NASA