A Touch Of Armenia On Mars


Anais Zarifian and Armen Toorian are members of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team that launched the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February, 2021 after over 200 days in space. The Perseverance rover is a follow up to the Curiosity rover that had landed on the red planet in 2012, while Curiosity’s mission was to prove Mars could have been a habitable planet, Perseverance’s mission is to prove that Mars did sustain life at some point. Anais is a testbed engineer and she also does rover operations, which is to look at the data that comes in from the rover’s inertial measurement unit. The data basically shows how the rover is oriented on Mars and whether or not it is safe to communicate with the rover. Armen Toorian was responsible for the system integration and testing lab and one of the almost 30 engineers involved with testing and verifying that the systems the team had designed was going to work as intended in preparation for launch, landing, and surface operation.



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