After working on the Mars InSight project, the Moroccan head of NASA's Planetary Studies Department, Kamal Oudrhiri, is hopeful for its success.
Rabat – NASA’s InSight lander project is set to study the red planet if it lands successfully on Mars this evening, around 8:45 p.m. (Moroccan time).
Oudrhiri told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) that “landing on Mars is one of the most improbable scientific achievements in terms of global exploration, as the success rate is only 40 percent.”
He added that a failure rate of 60 percent “obviously makes things complicated but also exciting if they succeed.”
Oudrhiri said that the new scientific mission will study the internal composition of the red planet and that InSight has been equipped with seismometers and a heat flow sensor.
Oudrhiri has worked for NASA for more than 20 years. He contributed to several key missions, including missions related to Mars exploration craft: Curiosity, Rovers, Spirit, and Opportunity.
“We will be sitting anxiously at the Mission Control Center, nervous but also hopeful that all our efforts will pay off and that everything will eventually work out as planned,” he said.
Oudrhiri also oversees the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) mission on behalf of the NASA space agency.
The scientist has been recognized with several NASA achievement honor awards from the planetary scientific community.
From Fez, Oudrhiri completed his graduate studies in space communication in the US. The scientist joined NASA in 1996.