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Indian-origin Scientist Controlling Perseverance Rover from London Apartment Gives New Meaning to WFH

Image: NASA (For representation).

Image: NASA (For representation).

The Perseverance Rover was launched on July 30, 2020 and landed on Mars on February 18. The mission of the rover is to explore the crater Jezero.

Work from home has become a norm for many since the coronavirus pandemic hit the world. Just like regular people, a scientist who controls the movement of space objects travelling millions of kilometres is also cooped up in his apartment. Living in his apartment at South London’s Lewisham, 55-year-old Sanjeev Gupta is a part of the team of scientists operating Perseverance Rover. Currently, he should be at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, but instead, he is working from his one-bedroom flat.

Sanjeev said that he should be with his colleagues at the laboratory “with their heads buried in laptops surrounded by large screens”, reported Daily Mail. According to the Indian-origin scientist, the offices at the laboratory are three times the size of the lounge of his apartment which is located above a hair salon.

The geology expert is a professor of Earth Science at the Imperial College London. Sanjeev and his colleagues at NASA are going to operate the rover to drill samples which are then going to be carried back to Earth by another UK-based project in 2027.

The Perseverance Rover was launched on July 30, 2020, and landed on Mars on February 18. The mission of the rover is to explore the crater Jezero.

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Sanjeev is living on rent in this apartment because he works throughout the night and does not want to disturb his family. The scientist’s wife and children are living in their family home nearby.

Speaking about the Mars mission, Sanjeev said that the rover has landed on a great spot as it is an ancient lake formed by the impact of meteorite billions of years ago.

The team of scientists have regular meetings about the experiments that they are going to do in the coming days. Sanjeev said that in a few days, they will be able to move the rover up to a hundred metres in one day.

The geologist also received an unusual request after the landing of the rover. He shared how his friend’s son asked him if he can make the rover do a wheelie to which Sanjeev replied that it is not possible with his motoring skills.