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Inside Perseverance mission control: A surreal experience that brought sci-fi to life

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Inside Perseverance mission control: A surreal experience that brought sci-fi to life

Inside Perseverance mission control: A surreal experience that brought sci-fi to life

As Perseverance careened toward Mars Thursday, the live broadcast from inside mission control oozed tension. It felt like science fiction to Swati Mohan, who managed the rover’s descent and kept the world updated on the spacecraft’s status.

Millions of people watched on their computers, phones, and television screens as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California monitored the final, harrowing leg of the spacecraft’s journey. The white-hot, super-fast, and incredibly precise entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequence took a terrifying seven minutes — plus mission control was 11 minutes behind the rover’s moves because Mars is 100 million miles away. The significance of the moment and uncertainty of its outcome was intoxicating.  Read more…

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