One look at Lujendra Ojha and you will know he is not your average geek. Ojha’s picture on his personal website, which shows him strumming the guitar and sporting long hair, does not give you an inkling that he helped discover the recurring slope lineae or the lines of flowing salt water observed on Mars when he was 21 years old.
Ojha, who is pursuing a PhD at Georgia Tech, was the first among a team of US scientists to show that Mars most certainly contained liquid water in 2011 as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
The findings that suggests it would be possible for life to be on Mars were announced as part of a conference at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California on Monday. The findings were also published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The 25-year-old, who moved to the United States in 2005 when he was 15 with his parents, is yet to complete his PhD, is also working on Nasa’s Insight mission to study the interior of the Red Planet and concepts like Marsquakes. Ojha also spends a lot of time in his native Nepal studying earthquakes in the Himalayas.
Ojha told CNET, the American tech website, he doesn’t consider himself an astrobiologist or a planetary scientist but sees himself more as a “jack of all trades.” When asked how does he manage to do so much he told CNET, “I just... I don’t sleep and I work on a lot of different stuff that I probably shouldn’t. I probably should enjoy my life but I don’t.”
He should enjoy life and absolutely continue rocking as the lead guitarist of his heavy-metal band, Gorkha.