A Longhorn played a part in Mars Curiosity landing

A Longhorn played a part in Mars Curiosity landing

An interview with Ravi Prakash, BS '03.

An aerospace engineer, Ravi Prakash, talks about how the Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin helped open doors for him in the industry and led him to the point where he is now part of the Curiosity landing team.

Ravi Prakash stated in the interview that he was extremely nervous in the seven minutes that the Rover was touching down on the Red Planet, but everything happened according to plan and some things like the parachute went even better than the plan laid out.

Prakash is very passionate about his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and in the lead up to the Mars Curiosity landing, he put in as much as a 100 hours a week into his work as part of the team. Now that the landing has taken place on Mars, Prakash and his team are going to look at the data and analyze it to better understand the Red Planet and improve missions in the future.

Prakash was very enthusiastic about the future of space exploration in the interview. Exploration is what America needs to do and this triumph by NASA should hopefully encourage the youth to take a higher level of interest in science and engineering.

Prakash is optimistic about NASA’s efforts and while savoring the success of the Mars Curiosity landing, he is quick to point out that there is more work to be done and in the future, humans should walk the surface of the Red Planet.