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GBH

"We are looking for remnants of past life," says Prof. Tanja Bosak in a discussion broadcast on GBH's Boston Public Radio of the NASA Perseverance rover’s mission on Mars. "There won't be anything that's a complex organism, so everything we have to look for is microscopic. All these rocks tell a story. Depending on their chemical properties and the way they look, we can tell a history and then decide which may have been good to preserve life."

Bloomberg Radio

Michael Hecht, associate director of MIT’s Haystack Observatory, speaks with Joe Shortsleeve of Bloomberg Radio about the MOXIE experiment onboard the NASA Perseverance rover.

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.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Anthony Doerr reviews “The Smallest Lights in the Universe” and “The Sirens of Mars,” new books from Professor Sara Seager and alumna Sarah Stewart Johnson ’08, respectively. Doerr notes that “both writers exemplify the humanity of science: Seager and Johnson laugh, grieve, hope, fail, try, fail and try again.”

CNN

Prof. Benjamin Weiss speaks with CNN reporter Ashley Strickland about how the Perseverance rover will select samples of Martian materials. "The key for this mission will be identifying samples so compelling that we can't afford to leave them," says Weiss. "We are selecting these for humanity, so we need to make sure they are the most exciting."

NECN

Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory speaks with Perry Russom of NECN about MOXIE, a new experimental device that will convert carbon dioxide in the Marian atmosphere into oxygen. Hecht explains that the inspiration for MOXIE lies in how it would be easier, “if we could make that oxygen on Mars and not have to bring this huge honking oxygen tank with us all the way from Earth.”

Vox

Prof. Tanja Bosak speaks with Vox reporter Brian Resnick about how Martian materials collected by the Perseverance rover might provide clues about early life forms on Earth. "These [Martian] rocks are older, by half a billion or a billion years, than anything that’s well preserved that we have on Earth,” says Bosak.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Caroline Enos spotlights the contributions of MIT researchers to the Mars 2020 mission, in particular the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment or MOXIE. “MOXIE could have a big impact on future missions if it is successful,” Enos explains.

Smithsonian Magazine

Haystack’s Michael Hecht, the principal investigator for the Mars MOXIE experiment, speaks with Max G. Levy of Smithsonian about the challenges involved in developing MOXIE’s oxygen-producing technology. “We want to show we can run [MOXIE] in the daytime, and the nighttime, in the winter, and in the summer, and when it’s dusty out," says Hecht, "in all of the different environments."