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Aeronautical and astronautical engineering

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WHDH 7

Ariel Ekblaw, founder and director of MIT’s Space Exploration Initiative, speaks with 7 News about the Blue Origins spaceflight. “We are at that cusp now of interplanetary civilization,” she said. “As the economy grows around space exploration, it will become more accessible and prices will drop, and that will become a huge success for everyone involved.”

Forbes

Institute Prof. Barbara Liskov, Prof. Dina Katabi, Prof. Dava Newman, Prof. Daniela Rus and a number of MIT alumnae and MIT Corporation members have been named to the Academic Influence list of the most influential women engineers in the world, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes.

TopUniversities.com

Provost Marty Schmidt speaks with TopUniversities.com reporter Chloe Lane about how MIT has maintained its position as the top university in the world on the QS World University Rankings for 10 consecutive years. “I am honored to have been a part of the MIT community for almost 40 years,” says Schmidt. “It’s a truly interdisciplinary, collaborative, thought-provoking place that encourages experimentation and pushes you to expand your mind. I think it’s a wonderful place to call home.”

Wired

Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory speaks with Eric Niiler of Wired about how the Mars MOXIE experiment is successfully extracting oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. "It’s stunning how much the results look identical to what we had run in the laboratory two years earlier,” says Hecht, who leads the MOXIE team. “How many things can you put away for two years and turn on and even expect to work again? I mean, try that with your bicycle.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brian P. Dunleavy writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that business closures and stay-at-home orders intended to stop the spread of Covid-19 helped reduce deaths caused by air pollution by an estimated 95,000 globally in 2020. “The air pollution declines that we calculated are primarily due to reduced economic activity during the COVID-19 lockdown,” writes Dunleavy.

The Boston Globe

A coalition of students, faculty and alumni have come together to raise the funds necessary to replace the radome that sits atop the Building 54, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “Once the overhaul is complete, MIT’s radio buffs, astronomers, and satellite researchers will have a tool that will serve them for decades,” writes Bray. “And they’ll have also preserved one of the school’s most famous landmarks.”

GBH

Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory speaks with GBH’s Edgar Herwick about how the MIT-designed MOXIE instrument has successfully extracted oxygen out of Martian air. “I've been using the expression ‘a small breath for man, a giant leap for humankind,'” says Hecht, who served as the PI for MOXIE.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Charlie McKenna spotlights how MOXIE, an MIT-designed instrument onboard NASA’s Perseverance rover, has successfully produced oxygen on Mars. “What’s amazing to me is that this instrument has been through two years of kind of brutal treatment, right? And it’s behaving as if nothing happened, as if we just turned it off and turned it on again right away,” says Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory.

CNN

CNN’s Harmeet Kaur spotlights alumna Swati Mohan PhD ’10, who was the guidance and controls operations lead for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission and also served as the mission commentator. Kaur notes that Mohan, who first became intrigued by space while watching Star Trek as a child, was the “eyes and ears” for the historic landing.

Mashable

Alumna Swati Mohan PhD ’10 served as the mission commentator who confirmed that the NASA Perseverance rover had touched down on Mars last week, reports Mashable. “Mohan led the attitude control system of Mars 2020 during operations, and was the lead systems engineer throughout development. The attitude control system points the vehicle where it needs to be and helps figure out where the spacecraft is oriented in space.”

The Boston Globe

Speaking with Charlie McKenna of The Boston Globe, Michael Hecht, associate director of MIT’s Haystack Observatory, describes the elation he felt when the NASA Perseverance rover landed on Mars. “I would have expected … just a huge sigh of relief, but no, this was like somebody just scored the winning touchdown on a Hail Mary pass in the Super Bowl,” says Hecht. “It just was time to whoop and holler. It was extraordinary and every part of this was extraordinary.”

USA Today

USA Today reporter Elinor Aspegren highlights alumna Dr. Swati Mohan, who led guidance, navigation and controls operations for the NASA Perseverance landing on Mars.

WHDH 7

WHDH reporter Aisha Mbowe spotlights how the MIT-designed Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) is onboard NASA’s Perseverance rover.

CBS Boston

Profs. Tonja Bosak and Jeffrey Hoffman speak with CBS Boston about the successful landing of the NASA Perseverance rover on Mars. Hoffman says of the MIT-designed Mars MOXIE experiment: “we are going to demonstrate how to make oxygen on the surface of Mars…we want to learn how to produce that on the surface of Mars and that’s what Moxie is going to demonstrate for the first time.”

The Boston Globe

Michael Hecht, associate director of MIT’s Haystack Observatory, speaks with Charlie McKenna of The Boston Globe about the MIT-designed Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE). “If we could plant a tree on Mars, it would do what MOXIE is doing. But we can’t, so we build a machine to do it,” he said. “If we’re serious about having a presence on Mars and having a research base, we need a way to make oxygen.”