How to Find Life on Mars While Protecting Earth | Moogega Cooper | TEDxMarin

A NASA scientist shares the extraordinary efforts we make to find life while protecting Mars and Earth from cross-contamination. Moogega is the planetary protection lead of the famed NASA 2020 Mars mission—with its highly viewed landing on February 18, 2021. Moogega is a recipient of several awards, including the NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, the Charles Elachi Award for Exceptional Early Career Achievement, and the JPL Voyager Awards for Technical Leadership. Info https://www.moogega.com
A real life “Guardian of the Galaxy,” Dr. Moogega (pronounced Moo-ji-gae) Cooper holds the awesome responsibility of keeping the red planet safe from any of the Earth’s contaminants. Moo is the planetary protection lead of the famed NASA 2020 Mars mission—with its widely-viewed landing on February 18, 2021. Her work is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans without harming what’s already there—a job she has been working up to for most of her life. After graduating from high school at 16, Cooper studied physics as an undergraduate, received a master’s degree and went on to earn her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at 24 years old with a dissertation on spacecraft materials. Moogega is a recipient of several awards, including the NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, the Charles Elachi Award for Exceptional Early Career Achievement, and JPL Voyager Awards for Technical Leadership. Info https://www.moogega.com This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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