Little did Alejandro Miguel San Martin, the chief engineer of four previous Mars landings, know that he would be using his daughter’s childhood bedroom to help land NASA’s Perseverance last week. In a now-viral Instagram post shared by his daughter, San Martin is seen joining his fellow National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) members at the Mars rover control room from his home. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, San Martin had to convert his daughter Madeleine San Martín’s childhood room into the makeshift control room from where he witnessed the landing of NASA’s Perseverance last week.
The video shows San Martin watching his screen intently as the confirmation of the landing is announced. An ecstatic Martin cheers ‘Yes!’ as the fellow members also celebrate the historical feat. When he finally gets the good news, he jumps out of his seat and throws his arms in the air, shouting: "YESSSS!" As he finally absorbs the moment of pure joy, Martin gets teary-eyed to realise what he and his team have achieved.
In another picture, Madeleine shares a picture of her father enjoying a glass of champagne and striking a thumbs-up to the camera. She captioned the Instagram post, “Touchdown!” and further mentioned that she never imagined that her childhood bedroom would become her father’s coronavirus mission control. She wrote that she could not be more proud of the Jet Propulsion Lab EDL team and gave five stars for Mars Rover’s landing.
The post has garnered over 7.6k likes since it was shared last week. Netizens have been equally cheered on as they witnessed Martin’s euphoric reaction to the final result of their hard work. One of the netizens commented, “Ahh so emotional!! Congratulations Miguel!!”
While some described it as an “incredible moment”,a user commented, “Please let him know how much he is respected and appreciated!”
Mars Perseverance rover made its successful landing at the Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021. The rover was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on July 30, 2020.