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2020 launched Mars rover was built with the help of a Cambodian Engineer

UCLA mechanical engineering graduate, Ny Sou Okon, started her career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2016. The following year, she joined the Perseverance team which was in charge of building the Mars 2020 rover also dubbed the Perseverance.

Ny Sou Okon’s family arrived in the United States in 1984 after her family had escaped the attrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime. Her story and success ties directly with perseverance.

“Growing up,” she said, the turmoil her family overcame “was just a fact of life.”

But now, even the rover’s name, “Perseverance,” holds special meaning for her.

Now, she said, “that thread — my family history and what got me here,” the challenges they survived, is clear.

“I think,” she said, “it really is about overcoming them and persevering.”

In full here.

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