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Hitting the Road on Mars

“Hitting the Road on Mars: Reaching Out into the Solar System”- A talk by Zainab Nagin Cox, engineer for the Mars Curiosity Rover (NASA)


Ms. Zainab Nagin Cox, engineer for the Mars Curiosity Rover project of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was invited by NUST School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (SMME) to speak about her experiences titled, “Hitting the Road on Mars: Reaching Out into the Solar System” on 20 May, 2014 at the SMME Seminar Hall.

Ms. Zainab is currently working on Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), formerly serving as the Assistant Flight System Engineering Manager and is now part of the mission operations team operating the rover on Mars.  Ms. Zainab has spoken to audiences around the United States, in Europe, and the Middle East on the stories of the people behind the robotic space missions. 


In her talk, Miss Nagin discussed the various projects that NASA has been involved in, on reaching and exploring Mars. She talked about the technical difficulties and the engineering solutions that made those projects possible; and the successes that were met in terms of water exploration and other surveys of Mars’ surface. She explained the novel technology that was used in the NASA’s latest space craft ‘Curiosity’ and the series of discoveries that have been made since then. Towards the end, she showed a picture of Earth from space and highlighted that once we are in the space, there are no national boundaries, that all of us are one human race that are trying to connect out, and that was the inspiration that made her join NASA.

Her talk inspired the audience who were indeed in awe to hear the story of the newest rover on Mars- the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover. Curiosity landed on Mars spectacularly in August 2012 and has made astounding discoveries already.