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Dr. Moogega Cooper Uses Mars Perseverance To Motivate Women In Tech

Rachael Espaillat

Dr. Moogega Cooper, lead planetary protection engineer of the famed famed Mars Rover Perseverance Mission shares her story and encourages women of the channel to ‘remember that spark’ and use to drive their career.

In a world full of germs, Moogega Cooper was tasked with the responsibility of keeping Mars safe from Earth’s contaminants in the famed Mars Rover Perseverance mission.

“My job for the Mars 2020 mission. It was, I was the lead in making sure we don‘t give Mars food poisoning,” said Cooper, lead planetary protection engineer of famed Mars Rover Perseverance Mission.

On the flip side, the lead planetary protection engineer was also tasked with making sure no contaminants are brought back to Earth. It’s a mission Moogega work on for about 8 years.

“The main goal that I‘m excited about is searching for signs of life beyond our planet,” Moogega said.

With everything on the line, she and her team made sure the Rover was 10 times clearer than it needed to be.

“There are so many things we’ve architected in the entire mission, the way we build it, the way we designed it, and way we assemble it, everything is detailed, to make sure that we don’t spread contamination to Mars,” Moogega said.

She and her team see rewards of their hard work just based on where the Rover landed on Mars.

“And this was the place- if we were to ever find life beyond our planet, this is the place to find it. So, it’s incredible. We’ve landed. We just arrived at this delta with the Rover and we are on the verge of potentially changing the history books.”

“Hearing about her background, and where she is sitting at JPL. Just around her show us the image, all the women that contribute to what has happened, you know, the Mars Rover, or the scientists…It really resonated in terms of the background and the contribution that you bring to the team,” Homaira Kaufman, Linksys senior national account manager, said.

Using curiosity, wonder and perseverance to fuel her career and this mission, she encouraged all women of the channel to do the same in their careers.

“We all found our ‘why’, our spark or light bulb moments. Remember that? Remember that that childlike moment…Remember that! Remember that moment because that is so important. That is the motivation behind everything that you do,” Moogega said.

Rachael Espaillat

Rachael Espaillat is a multimedia journalist who joined CRNtv in December 2021. She interviews CEOs and other IT experts to deliver stories that matter most to channel partners. She can be reached at respaillat@thechannelcompany.com.

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