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Farah Ali Bey ... a young woman entering history today after driving a NASA spacecraft on Mars

Farah Ali Bey ... a young woman entering history today after driving a NASA spacecraft on Mars

Only a few hours are left for the Canadian-Malagasy Farah Ali Bey to start her mission to direct the "NASA" vehicle on Mars after a seven-month journey in space.

Farah Ali Bey ... a young woman entering history today after driving a NASA spacecraft on Mars

Farah arrived in California less than 48 hours before the long-awaited landing of the long-awaited "NASA" Perseverance spacecraft on Mars, to determine if there was life before on Mars.

Starting Thursday, the 33-year-old Farah, from Montreal, Quebec, will adapt her schedule to that of the Red Planet, with days being about forty minutes longer.

After an hour or two of landing, Farah and her team will start their mission, and the flight engineer told the Canadian site (tvanouvelles) that "in the first 20 days, we examine all tools to ensure that the robot is intact, before we start our scientific mission, we will work on programming the robot or vehicle in Night hours are based on Mars time, so that the craft can accomplish its mission in daylight, take photos and wander in space.

Farah Ali Bey ... a young woman entering history today after driving a NASA spacecraft on Mars

And she continued: "At night, we put the robot in a state of low activity, where we use energy to warm it and keep it under operation throughout a Martian night."

The commands we send to the robot need to be planned in advance, because it takes between 20 and 30 minutes to communicate back and forth between Earth and Mars. More than 50 scientists work daily on the program that the robot will follow during the day .. It is expected that the exploration vehicle will collect about 20 samples from different environments .. “What we want to do is to travel record distances every day, to obtain various samples.” According to Farah.

The engineer, who has worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) since 2014, will also coordinate the operations of an Ingenuity helicopter, escorting the rover on its mission.

"This will be the first time that we will travel to another planet ... through the mission, we may be able to determine if there is indeed life on Mars. It is a huge honor to be part of this team. We are making history," the engineer said.

She suffered from bullying as a child

Farah, who grew up in Juliet, Quebec, first became interested in space when she saw "Apollo 13" at the age of 10.

She told "Huffington Post Quebec" that she was also influenced by Julie Payette, an astronaut who was born in Montreal and is now the governor-general of Canada.

"We were the only immigrant family in Juliet," she added, noting that her parents emigrated from Madagascar .. I always had a passion for science and my grades were good, but I faced a lot of bullying .. Those difficult years made me develop my character and became more strong. "

When she was 13 years old, her family moved to England where her father worked as an engineer. She attended the University of Cambridge to study Aeronautical Engineering. While working towards her master's degree, she was the only woman in the entire lab - finding a women's restroom was a challenge for her.

Farah moved to the United States in 2010 to obtain a PhD. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And she got two trainings at NASA. While watching the Curiosity probe landed on Mars, Farah realized she wanted to work in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"I was offered a job before I finished my second internship," she said. "It gave me a good incentive to finish my PhD."

Farah worked on the Mars rover for NASA 2020 mission, which launched in July. Once she lands on Mars today, she and her team will deal with operating the robot on the red planet with the aim of better understanding the evolution of the planet, determining whether there is life on Mars, and working to prepare the planet for human visits in the future.

Farah Ali Bey ... a young woman entering history today after driving a NASA spacecraft on Mars

The landing will be directly visible on the NASA website on Thursday at around 3:30 pm EST, Washington.

The task is in brief

The Perseverance spacecraft left Earth on July 30, aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, on its nearly seven-month journey to Mars.

Accompanied by a small helicopter called Ingenuity, the six-wheel rover will have to analyze and collect rock samples, which will be left in sealed tubes on the surface of the Red Planet.

Samples will be collected during a future mission and returned to Earth in 2031.

The Perseverance mission will last for a year on Mars - nearly two years on Earth - during which time the exploration probe will try to find traces of ancient microbial life.

- Perseverance is scheduled to land this evening, Thursday, February 18, at 3:55 minutes, DCT, Washington, in the Jizero Depression, a flat plateau amid steep cliffs on the edge of an ancient river delta that may have witnessed life in the past.

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