A Montrealer has made it to Mars... sort of. NASA Engineer Farah Alibay, who was born in the city, is helping to coordinate part of the space agency's Perseverance mission, whose rover touched down on the red planet on February 18.
On Twitter, Alibay shared a video of herself jumping for joy at the moment NASA confirmed Perseverance's successful landing.
"I still can't believe that we're safely on Mars," Alibay wrote.
That moment when we heard “Touchdown Confirmed!” - I still can’t believe that we’re safely on Mars 🤩 https://t.co/VmUzIzzjxx— Farah Alibay (@Farah Alibay) 1613712455.0
She also shared a photo of Perseverance approaching the surface — which she said made her "scream with amazement."
This amazing picture of the rover being lowered to the Martian surface arrived during my shift last night and made… https://t.co/pgSrrRjRr9— Farah Alibay (@Farah Alibay) 1613771706.0
According to Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet, who introduced a motion at the Canadian House of Commons to congratulate Alibay, the engineer is working specifically to "coordinate the operations of the helicopter Ingenuity," which is attached to the Perseverance rover and will embark on the "very first powered flight" on Mars, according to NASA.
La mission de @farahalibay commence aujourd'hui: à coups de patience et de centimètres sur un terrain ardu, elle pi… https://t.co/9XM4etqI2b— Yves-F. Blanchet 🎗⚜️ (@Yves-F. Blanchet 🎗⚜️) 1613665272.0
In her NASA bio, Alibay explains that her parents arrived in Canada after leaving Madagascar during a period of civil unrest.
"Growing up, they always encouraged me to pursue my dreams," she says.
"They led by example and showed me that I could achieve whatever I put my mind to."
Alibay went on to attend high school and university in England.