Swati Mohan, NASA scientist, emphasizes on more women in Space research


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On the occasion of Science Day, which is February 28th and marks India’s imminent scientist CV Raman’s birthday, Indian-American scientist Swati Mohan, emphasised the importance of increasing the representation of women in space research.

Mohan, who migrated to the US at a very young age, was speaking at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum as part of National Science Day celebrations. Mohan noted the evolving landscape of opportunities for women in the field of space research. However, she expressed optimism about the changing scenario and encouraged more women to pursue careers in space research worldwide.

As part of the National Science Day commemoration, BITM organized various popular science lectures, including an interactive session on biodiversity conservation, a talk show on the discovery of the Raman effect, and a session featuring Dr. Swati Mohan’s personal journey as a NASA scientist, in collaboration with the US Consulate.

Swati Mohan is an Indian-American aerospace engineer and was the Guidance and Controls Operations Lead on the NASA Mars 2020 mission. Mohan was born in Bengaluru, and emigrated to the US when she was 1 year old. She became interested in space upon seeing Star Trek at the age of 9.[8] She had originally planned to be a pediatrician but at the age of 16 took a physics class and decided to study engineering as a way to pursue a career in space exploration.[ She studied Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, before completing her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.

Mohan, known for her leadership in the guidance, navigation, and control operations of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, shared her decision to pursue physics over biology, which ultimately led her to intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She had joined NASA as a missions operation systems engineer in 2004.

Her passion for exploring the solar system drove her to work on guidance, navigation, and control systems.

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