2 PEC alumnae part of NASA’s Mars mission
Two alumnae of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) are among the scientists who are part of the US space agency NASA’s Mars 2020 mission.
Vandi Verma had graduated from PEC in 1994 and Kavita Kaur completed her degree a year later.
While Verma is the chief engineer for robotic operations for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, Kaur has worked on Mars 2020 mission in various capacities, including ground data system (GDS) engineer and GDS integration and test engineer.
According to the space agency, Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA’s quest to explore the past habitability of the planet.
Kaur, the daughter of former principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture SS Bhatti, had started her journey at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the deep impact project in 2002 after completing her postgraduation.
Bhatti said, “She was always keen on doing engineering and a bright child since her childhood. We are happy about her achievements.”
Verma has been working with NASA after completing her PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2008, she has been driving rovers on Mars and operating the robotic arm and sampling system as a Rover Planner.
PEC is also known for being the college from where Kalpana Chawla graduated. PEC director, Dheeraj Sanghi said, “The institution is very proud of them.”
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