While NASA’s InSight mission landed on Mars Monday, one Moroccan on the NASA team honored his parents’ role in his success as a scientist.
Rabat – NASA’s Planetary Studies Department head Kamal Oudrhiri said, “Landing on Mars is one of the most improbable scientific achievements in terms of global exploration.”
The Moroccan scientist, who contributed to the InSight Mars project, said that the success rate of the project was only 40 percent and his team speculated a 60 percent chance of failure.
Oudrhiri said that the project’s 300-member team “carried out this project with mutual trust, diligence, patience and unflinching diligence.”
The Moroccan scientist explained that the Mars project aims to analyze the internal composition of Mars, also known as the red planet. He added that the InSight spacecraft was equipped with a seismometer and a heat flow sensor.
Oudrhiri said that while waiting to hear if InSight landed successfully, he was wearing a shirt with his father’s initials, M.O., sewed into it. “I wanted to pay homage to my father but also to the role and the sacrifices that parents make for the education and success of their children,” said Oudrhiri.
Oudrhiri has worked for NASA for more than 20 years. From Fez, Oudrhiri completed his graduate studies in space communication in the US. The scientist joined NASA in 1996.
The scientist has been recognized with several NASA achievement honor awards from the planetary scientific community.
Besides InSight, the Moroccan scientist has contributed to several other NASA projects, including Curiosity, Spirit, Opportunity and Rovers.
Oudrhiri also oversees the Cold Atom Lab mission on behalf of NASA.
The InSight lander touched down on Mars on Monday, November 26.
“The whole sequence to touching down on the surface took only six-and-a-half minutes,” said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).