The Quebec Farah Alibay, an aerospace engineer at NASA, will be at the controls of the rover Perseverance, which will leave the Earth on Thursday morning aboard a rocket towards the planet Mars.
The native of Joliette, which will occupy a central role in the mission: one to drive and manoeuvre the vehicle Perseverance, which should land on the red planet in February 2021.
The one that was involved in the design and preparatory testing of the vehicle, explained that it was designed for a mission “astrobiologique”.
The robot-to-vehicle, “Perseverance”.
The robot with six wheels, which is scheduled to launch at 7: 50, Thursday, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, will seek traces of ancient microbes may have inhabited the planet Mars there are more than three billion years.
“It is going to land in a river delta on mars, which is an ancient lake, she explained, Wednesday morning, on QUB radio. It’s a place on Mars where we think there might have been life.”
“Of course, there is more water on Mars, and one does not think that there is life on Mars, because the temperature and the pressure have really changed, but it may be that there have been there millions of years.”
Perseverance is the first step in a mission called “Mars Sample Return”, which provides for the return of these samples to the Earth to be analyzed.
- LISTEN to the interview with the Quebec Farah Alibay on QUB radio:
The right to dream
A few hours before the take-off, Quebec has confessed to feeling “butterflies in the stomach”.
If Ms. Alibay is now working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA, this is because she is “given the right to dream” when she was young, she entrusted.
“It’s a chance that I’ve taken […] and I finally succeed,” she recounted.
Farah Alibay, an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in Los Angeles.
– With AFP