Chief Engineer Of Four Previous Mars Landings Celebrates Perseverance Rover Landing
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Video footage captures the moment Alejandro Miguel San Martin, the chief engineer of four previous Mars landings, celebrated as the Perseverance rover landed on the red planet earlier this week - having been an advisor on the successful mission.
In the video, you can see San Martin watching his screen intently as the confirmation of the landing comes through.
When he finally gets the good news, he leaps out of his seat and throws his arms in the air, shouting: "YESSSS!"
After a few seconds of sheer joy, he then appears to begin crying.
The footage went viral after a TikTok user called @ms11850 shared the clip, saying he was their father.
They wrote: "My dad, an immigrant who has worked for NASA for 3 years, landing his 5th rover on Mars."
Her video has been viewed 1.2 million times and has more than 260,000 likes, and has been shared across the internet on various platforms.
His wife Susan San Martin appears to have originally posted the clip, writing on Twitter: "@MigOnMars and I have been through five rover landings but this is the first time we've experienced one together. Usually he's in Mission Control. It was quite something!!!"
San Martin later shared the footage on his own Twitter feed, saying he was 'a wreck' when he learnt the rover had landed safely, also explaining his role in the most recent mission.
He wrote: "I want to clarify... I was an advisor and review panel member for @NASAPersevere. I was the GN&C Chief for the previous rovers. But it did use our Curiosity landing software so I was a wreck."
Argentinian San Martin is best known for his work as Chief Engineer for the Guidance, Navigation and Control system in several recent missions to Mars.
He also helped develop the Sky Crane system, which was used to help Perseverance rover land on Mars earlier this week.
San Martin was rejected from Cornell's engineering school, going on to get a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University, where he was named Engineering Student of the Year in 1982.
He then completed his Master's degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before he started working for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1985 - achieving his childhood dream, having wanted to become a space engineer after hearing of the Viking mission to Mars in the 70s.