Fil-American instrumental in landing NASA rover in Mars


Filipino- American engineer Gregorio Villar 3rd was one of those who assisted the landing of NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administrations) Perseverance rover on Mars, the US Embassy said Friday.

Gregorio works as an EDL systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), he is also the head verification and validation engineer for the EDL phase of perseverance.

“As we celebrate the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars, did you know that Fil-Am engineer Gregorio Villar 3rd helped with its safe landing as the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Systems Engineer of the Mars 2020 mission?,” NASA said in its official Twitter account.

As stated in his profile at the agency, Villar spent seven and a half years building and trying out a system that would successfully land a car-sized rover on Mars. Villar also directed a Mars parachute test operation at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

The engineer also held a council of atmospheric researchers from institutions around the world to distinguish the Martian atmosphere. Villar was awarded a NASA scholarship in his junior year in college, which also became an internship at a NASA Center of his taste.

“I started interning at JPL in 2010 and got hired full-time in 2012,” Villar said in a post at the NASA Mars Exploration Program.

The Fil-Am engineer studied at Saint Louis University Laboratory High School in Baguio City and received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Califonia State Polytechnic University in Pamona. He received a master’s degree in astronautical engineering from the University of Southern California.

The purpose of the Mars mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of life as scientists believe that the Jezero Crater, which sits on the western edge of a giant impact basin “had its own river delta and was filled with water” some 3.5 billion years ago.”

“Perseverance is the first step in bringing back rock and regolith from Mars. We don’t know what these pristine samples from Mars will tell us. But what they could tell us is monumental – including that life might have once existed beyond Earth,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator at NASA.



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