Graduate of Aviation High School in Queens leads Mars mission

Local News

QUEENS — Vishnu Sridhar is having a good week at work. The project he has been working on for years has really taken off.

The 2011 graduate of Aviation High School in Long Island City is the systems engineer for the rover that landed Thursday on Mars.

“Aviation High School opened a pathway to my interest in aerospace. It started the critical thinking mentality that’s needed for engineers to be innovative and come up with solutions,” he said.

He grew up in Rego Park, Queens and went to college at Georgia Tech.

He will be working on the Supercam, which is mounted on the rover.

New video from Perseverance shows the surface of Mars and the landing process. It was released Monday.

High-definition data takes longer to process and send back.

Audio files were also made public.

“We are the first humans to listen to another planet. It was like we were standing there listening to Mars,” he said.

Sridhar and the team will operate the rover as it moves around and uses lasers to dissect pieces of rock. Samples will also be collected.

A future mission is in the works to retrieve the samples. Scientists will be able to study the items for existence of life outside earth. That trip could happen in the next decade.

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