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To Infinity and Beyond: Armenians in the Mars Rover Curiosity Project

The Armenian Weekly
Sept. 1, 2012

Space has long been a source of mystery for humankind—a mystery we sought to decipher. Thanks to the scientific curiosity of Ptolemy, Galileo Galilee, and Isaac Newton, man discovered numerous planets, landed on the Moon, and even captured ancient images of space with the Hubble telescope that shine light on the Big Bang. Scientists know that our planet has the perfect components for life, but as Earth begins to feel the effects of global warming and human overpopulation, it is only natural that scientists have started looking to space for answers, particularly from our neighbor, Mars.

(L-R) Toorian, Gharakhanian, Sarkissian, Ohanian, Hartounian, Khanoyan, Gorjian, Zadourian, Aintablian, Demirjian, and Karapetian.

On Aug. 5, at 10:31 p.m. PDT, the Mars Rover Curiosity successfully descended by parachute and landed upright on Martian soil. Curiosity is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term robotic exploration of the red planet so close to our own home! It was designed to assess Mars’s habitability, and to see if the planet has ever had the proper environment to support small life-forms called microbes. The rover carries the largest, most advanced suite of instruments ever sent to Mars, and will analyze samples scooped from the soil and drilled from rocks. Any planet’s geology record is essentially stored in rocks and soil, particularly in the formation, chemical composition, and structure. Curiosity has an on-board laboratory and will study rocks and soil to detect any chemical building blocks of life in an attempt to piece together Mars’s past.

One of the most impressive features is Curiosity’s power source. The rover carries a radioisotope system that generates electricity from the heat of plutonium’s radioactive decay. Radioactive decay is the process by which an atomic nucleus of an unstable atom loses energy by emitting ionizing particles. An ion is created when an atom gains or loses a charged particle, such as an electron or a proton. This power source is strong enough to give Curiosity a life-span of one Martian year, or 687 Earth days, and also gives Curiosity more operational flexibility and greater mobility than any previous Mars mission.

According to JPL, Curiosity represents a huge step in Mars surface science and exploration because it demonstrates the ability to land a very large and heavy rover on the surface of Mars, while also demonstrating the ability to land more precisely in the calculated landing circle. This is quite a large feat. Not only am I proud as a scientist, but I’m also proud to know that there were at least 16 Armenians who collaborated in this project’s success. Arbi Karapetian, a group supervisor at JPL, joined the project during the design and implementation phase. He was a test conductor during assembly, testing, and launch.

When asked how he felt about the project’s success, Karapetian said, “As an engineer you’re aware of statistical analysis and reliability. Every engineer understands that you do the best you can, but there’s always room for failure. This project was exponentially more complicated than any previous project because of the advances in engineering. The complexity was so high that you could no longer have one engineer; the work had to be spread amongst many engineers, which allowed more room for error.” Karapetian is proud of the team’s accomplishment, and its success was the greatest reward for the long, arduous hours they put into the project. “If you love doing what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life. There are very long hours which are taxing on everything you do. If this is really your passion, then all of that lines itself up, and it’s not hard to get motivated to do what it takes.”

The following Armenians made significant contributions to the success of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) Project: Avo Demirjian, Vache Vorperian, Alfred Khashaki, Felix Sarkissian, and Hrair Aintablian in the field of electronics; Garen Khanoyan and Richard Ohanian on the landing radar system; Serjik Zadourian and Vazrik Kharakhanian in assembly, test, and launch; Gayaneh Kazarians in biology; Hanry Hartounian in flight software; Armen Toorian in mechanisms and testbeds; Zareh Gorjian in computer animation; Julie Ispirian in mechanical designing; and Lucy Abramyan in the operations planning software lab.

***

In honor of the microbes we are searching for in our neighboring red planet, I decided to share a yogurt panna cotta recipe!

Yogurt Panna Cotta (adapted from Woman’s Day magazine)

Ingredients

 1 1/2 cup(s) nonfat Greek-style yogurt

 1 1/2 cup(s) fat-free half-and-half

 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

 1/4 cup(s) lemon juice

 1 envelope(s) unflavored gelatin

 1/2 cup(s) each heavy cream and sugar

 1 pint(s) strawberries, hulled and sliced

 2 tablespoon(s) honey

Coat six six-oz. custard cups or ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk yogurt, half-and half, and vanilla in large bowl. Pour lemon juice in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it; let stand five minutes to soften. Heat cream and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in softened gelatin until dissolved, and stir quickly into yogurt mixture until blended. Divide mixture into prepared custard cups (about 1∕2 cup in each). Cover; refrigerate about four hours or overnight. Toss strawberries with honey; let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes. Run a small knife around each panna cotta, shake gently and invert onto serving plate to unmold. Serve with strawberries and an additional drizzle of honey, if desired.

49 Comments on To Infinity and Beyond: Armenians in the Mars Rover Curiosity Project

  1. avatar Ara Nazarian // August 23, 2012 at 9:59 am // Reply

    The MSL design, implementation and successful deployment processes are amazing engineering and scientific feats – kudos to the team with a special nod to our fellow Armenian Americans in So Cal who make us all immensely proud – These are the success stories that we need to capitalize on and not dwell upon the stereotypical negative stories coming out of LA

  2. Thank you for your comment, Ara! I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m looking forward to the day where Armenians are known in the news because of our intelligent and hard working nature, vs the typical Hollywood scandals that bring us such a bad rap!

  3. Shantal, great work compiling the names and specialties of the Armenian engineers.

    Many people may not know this, particularly in the West due to the Cold War at the time, but a Soviet Armenian scientist is considered the father of space robots.

    [Alexander Leonovich Kemurdzhian (4 October 1921, Vladikavkaz – 25 February 2003, St Petersburg)[1] was a pioneering scientist, of Armenian origin, in the space flight program of the Soviet Union. As chief designer at the VNIITransMash, he designed the first rovers to explore another world, the Soviet Lunokhod rovers.] (from Wiki).

    “the first rovers to explore another world”

    Lunokhods landed on the Moon in early 70s.
    Not until the 1997 US Mars Pathfinder was another remote-controlled vehicle put on an extraterrestrial body.

    • avatar Random Armenian // August 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm //

      I was watching a cable show on the Lunokhod a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to see the name Kemurdzhian come up. There’s always an Armenian somewhere :)

      To be fair, landing a rover on Mars is more difficult than the moon.

      I love the design of the Lunokhod. It looks like a bathtub on wheels with a very retro mechanical look to it :)

    • avatar Random Armenian // August 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm //

      Here’s the show I had seen couple of years ago.

      http://science.discovery.com/tv/tank/tank.html

    • avatar Random Armenian // August 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm //

      Here’s some additional info on the Soviet lunar rover:

      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/03jun_oldrover/

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_programme
      There were two of them. A third one was planned but the mission was cancelled.

      At the bottom of this page is a reference to Kemurdzhian designing a tiny rover to land on Mars. Unfortunately the lander that carried the rover crashed on Mars in 1971.
      http://www.spaceagepub.com/subscribers/LDarchive/LD20030228.html

      I found the following two Mars lander missions launched by the Soviets: Mars 2 and Mars 3.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_2
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_3#Lander

    • thanks for the link Random:

      I love this paragraph:

      {“Kemurdjian was not only responsible for the first (and still only) automated Moon rovers, but also created the first Mars rover as well. His small rover Marsokhod actually made it to the surface successfully on the Soviet 1971 Mars lander although the lander failed. He led a team that introduced the virtues of a Mars rover to the world in the Society’s international testing program in the late 1980s. His work has had extraordinary influence on robotic designs in the USA and Europe as well as in Russia. He was “profoundly influential in putting a human face on the concept of Soviet-American cooperation,” writes Friedman. “I was always struck by this man — a Soviet military secret … — who turned out to be a warm, gracious colleague and friend to so many of us.”}

      “His work has had extraordinary influence on robotic designs in the USA and Europe as well as in Russia.” (!)

      A Great Armenian. A Great Man.

      Armenian-Americans who worked on Curiosity continued and carried on the great work of their ancestors – creating, building, inventing.

      Thank You – Ladies and Gentlemen: you make the rest of us humble citizens proud.

  4. Love you and your energy for science and food, Shantal. Great news piece highlighting the creativity, hard-work and smarts of our scientists.

  5. avatar Lusine Sarkissian // August 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm // Reply

    A wonderful list of great individuals! I personally know another talented young Armenian who worked in the Mars Rover Curiosity Project, who was unfortunately omitted here. Lucy Abramyan is a software engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California who worked in Operations Planning Software Lab to write the operations software for Mars Exploration Rovers, including Curiosity. It is the passion and curiosity of individuals such as these that makes life on Earth meaningful.

  6. I went through the above it looked to me as if I was dreaming.
    We Armenians must be proud of such scientists showing our
    moderation and civilization to the world. Question to the readers:
    Who invented MIR, ATM and (MIG. Fighters, etc., for former Soviet
    Union)?

  7. Thank you so much for your comments! Avery, I did know about the Soviet Armenian Scientist! Thank you for mentioning it in your comment so that others may also be educated on it!
    I’m happy to see that so many people are taking an interest in space and science! Hope you all try the recipe too :) food and science go hand in hand!

  8. Lusine, once I verify your information I wi add her name. Thank you for letting me know! It’s not always easy to find all the Armenians in one workplace :)

  9. avatar Random Armenian // August 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm // Reply

    You don’t realize how large that rover is until you see humans next to it for scale.

  10. {To be fair, landing a rover on Mars is more difficult than the moon.}:

    That is debatable. Yes, Mars is quite a bit farther and the atmosphere is much harsher. However, Mars landing was done about 40 years after Lunokhod.

    In early 1970s robotic technology, and technology in general was far less advanced. It takes a lot more ingenuity when technology is less advanced: 40 years in technological advancement is a very, very long time.

    Landing a man on the moon in 1969, on the other hand, was far more of a challenge, because human beings are a fragile and an irreplaceable ‘cargo’.
    However, humans have at least one advantage over robots: they can improvise when unexpected situations arise (Apollo 13).

    I give Lunokhod the edge for being a pioneering space exploration robot.
    Also, if you look at the wheels of Curiosity, you can clearly see they were inspired by the ingenious, innovative design of the Lunokhod wheels.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-curiosity-wheels-morse-code-2012-8

    • avatar Random Armenian // August 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm //

      “That is debatable. Yes, Mars is quite a bit farther and the atmosphere is much harsher. However, Mars landing was done about 40 years after Lunokhod.”

      The Mars Pathfinder rover mission, was in 1997, so that’s 27 years after Lunokhod 1 (1970). But yes, even in that time, the tech advances made Pathfinder a success. The biggest issue with Mars is the time it takes for signals to travel to and from Earth. At least 10-14 minutes, on-way. Autonomy of the rover becomes more important and that requires advances in computers and software. In the case of the moon, signals have a round-trip time of 2 seconds, which made remote-controlling a rover tolerable.

      And yes Lunokhod was definitely a robotic pioneer.

  11. This news was best information make me very happy and joy.God speed.

    • avatar Random Armenian // August 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm //

      I hope this serves as inspiration for Armenian kids. A spacecraft traveled millions of miles and landed a six-wheeled robot *on another planet*. This mission is for real, exciting and hye-risk-hye-reward ;)

  12. It is interesting to see armenians who talk about something other than Turkey and Turks.

    • we talk about a lot of things, ahmet.

      Most Armenians who post @AW don’t have one-track minds similar to turks like you, whose only purpose in visiting Armenian sites is to spread hate and engage in futile attempts of AG denial and historical distortion.

      we talk about Denialist turks and Denialist turkey a lot, because those turks, that country – turkey – and its agents are an existential threat to our Armenia, to our Nagorno Karabagh/Artsakh, and to our Armenian brothers and sisters in South Caucasus.

      When one’s survival is at stake, all else is secondary.

      Not that there is equivalence, but every time I visit TZ and HDN, close to half of the articles concern PKK or Kurds: why is that ?
      Don’t you turks have anything else to talk about ?

  13. “an existential threat to your armenia”

    Why is that? Are Turks officially threatening to invade your country? Can you show one official statement that is currently in Turkey’s agenda to invade your country? Or is it that you guys have exceedingly become paranoid of Turks and perceive even a Turkish ant a threat?

    It must be Turkey that needs to perceive mighty armenia a threat for armenia has official territorial claims over Turkey.

  14. Ahmet Okhleeeeeeeeee, Be wise think twice, we are talking about Western Armenia’s property and wiping out of our ancestors. Sooner or later you
    Turks will come on your knees and admit your criminal acts not only to the Armenians but to the whole world too.

  15. Actually Ahmet, the threat is very real. Turgut Ozal,and Tansu Ciller threatened to attack Armenia- in 1992, 1994 respectively. Twice in 1993 and 1994, the Turka amassed troops and tanks on the border. The Russian warned the Turks to back off and they did. Armenians have every reason to be on guard.

    • Not to mention that Aliyev claimed that ALL Armenians of the world were the enemies of Azerbaijan.

      Is it really paranoia, Ahmet, or simply vigilance in the face of real threats?

  16. Here is one of the reasons many Armenians are obsessed with Turks and Turkey: we hate to see the slogan “Today Taksim, Tomorrow Yerevan” materialize, and cause irreparable harm to these lovely young ladies.

    Enjoy, and visit Yerevan some day. Come in Peace.

    [flash mob- Yerevan - World Book Capital 2012]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdBWyHn81Uc&feature=share

  17. Avery, we Turks also extremely concerned!! to see the armenian slogan : “Today Yerevan, tomorrow Agri, the next day Van and the day after that Bitlis”

    It is armenia that officially wants to occupy Turkish territory not the other way around. (Really, dont tell me at this point these soils used to belong to your ancestors, which is irrelevant and disputed) All that matters is Turkey is the legitimate owner of the territories within today’s borders.

    It is ironic that at 15th minute in the video, armenians dance with Kurdish music. Funny….

    P.S: I give you that armenian girls are rather beautiful.

    • Ahmet:

      there is no turkish land in Armenian Highlands.
      turkish land is 3000 kilometers East of Armenian Highlands.

      Check with your FM Davutoglu: in 2010 when visiting Uygurs of China, he famously said: “We are visiting the land of our ancestors”.

      and there is no mountain called agri: only on turkish imaginary maps.
      I know there is a Majestic Armenian Mountain in Armenian Highlands, called Mt Ararat.

      and the dance @15 minutes is not Kurdish: take a wild guess what nationality.
      what is ironic is the high level of success in disinformation and brainwashing the turkish miseducation department achieves with its turkish Yutes in the age of the Internet. Quite an achievement, I must admit.

      true, turkey currently owns Western Armenia, but is not the legitimate owner.
      see if you can do some research on your own and find out why.

    • Ahmet,just to educate you a bit.The music at the 15th minute is not Kurdish but Armenian from the region of Sassoun (Sason in the district of Batman of nowadays) & the dance is called yarkhoushda.This is the region where 4/5 days ago criminals ravaged an Armenian church continuing the cultural Genocide.Read the here below:
      Armenian church ravaged in eastern Turkey
      24 August 2012 / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,
      An İstanbul-based association representing Armenians living in Sason district of eastern Turkish province of Batman has claimed that their church near the Puşeng village has been partially torn apart by unidentified people.
      Head of the Sason Armenians Social Assisstance, Solidarity and Cultural Association Aziz Dağcı said he is appealing to Sason Public Prosecutor’s Office over the incident, demanding an investigation, Armenian weekly Agos reported.
      Dağcı said local Armenians don’t know why their church was ravaged, recalling recent mass they held last month. Dağcı said villagers notified them that Armenian church Partsr Asdvadzadzin in Maratug mountain was ravaged by some people with diggers and shovels.
      http://www.todayszaman.com/news-290363-armenian-church-ravaged-in-eastern-turkey.html

  18. In reality Turkey is a poor country supported by USA and western countries’ aid. The latest news is PKK (Kurdish Democratic Party) will soon announce disintegration from Turkey and will become an independent state. Here is
    another problem to Ahmet Davutoglu and his leaders.

  19. avatar Random Armenian // August 26, 2012 at 9:38 am // Reply

    Ahmet came here trolling for an argument. Please stop feeding the troll.

  20. After Turkish Van Kedisi (Van Cat) and Kangal kopegi, you guys claim the ownership of the Kurdish music that is genuinely related to the Kurds of that area. Well, I must not be surprised for you even claim that the Noah’s Ark was made by an armenian.

    Was Adam also armenian?

    • Ahmet the know it all now defends the Kurds that he hates as long as his argument is anti Armenian.
      If you know your history you would know that the Kurds were permitted to come into our regions around the 16th century.Meanwhile we’ve been living on these lands for the last 4000 years,with our customs,traditions,culture,language music & dance.
      Both of my grandparents were born in the region of Sassoun(I’m surprised that still the Armenian toponym has not been Turkified) where this music & dance had originated.To this date when the Sassoun associations have festivals or picnics we perform this music & dance.We have kept our culture,language & traditions to the day when we’ll all return back to our homeland inshallah.
      Kurds have great music & I advise you to listen to Kamkars,youtube it.
      Isn’t it enough for you that you’ve committed Genocide,stolen our lands lands,destroyed our churches,cemeteries,monuments & now is the turn of our music & dance again?
      Can’t you even imagine that the Kurds were influenced by our music & dance?Of course not.That might ruin your intellectual capabilities.

    • Ahmet,be illuminated & read the here below:
      Hayk (Armenian: Հայկ), also known as Hayk Nahapet (Հայկ Նահապետ, Hayk the Tribal Chief) is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. His story is told in the History of Armenia attributed to the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi (410 to 490 AD).
      “Hayk was a handsome, friendly man, with curly hair, sparkling eyes, and strong arms. He was a man of giant stature, a mighty archer and fearless warrior. Hayk and his people, from the time of their forefathers Noah and Japheth, had migrated south toward the warmer lands near Babylon. In that land there ruled a wicked giant, Bel. Bel tried to impose his tyranny upon Hayk’s people. But proud Hayk refused to submit to Bel. As soon as his son Aramaneak was born, Hayk rose up, and led his people back to the land of his forefathers, the land of Ararat. At the foot of the mountains, he built his home, Haykashen”.
      Our lineage goes to our father Noah.

    • Oh Ahmet I forgot.It turns out that your worshiped hero Ataturk together with his adopted daughter Sabiha Gokcen were of Armenian descent as well…not that I’m proud of.Read this article:
      Was Atatürk an Armenian?
      http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-290227-was-ataturk-an-armenian.html

    • VTiger: a comment on that article sums up my feelings towards Ataturks ethnic background:

      “Who cares if Atatürk was of possible Armenian origin? He fought for Turkey. You are what you do, not what is your blood”

    • Ahmet the know it all now defends the Kurds that he hates as long as his argument is anti Armenian.
      If you know your history you would know that the Kurds were permitted to come into our regions around the 16th century.Meanwhile we’ve been living on these lands for the last 4000 years,with our customs,traditions,culture,language music & dance.
      Both of my grandparents were born in the region of Sassoun(I’m surprised that still the Armenian toponym has not been Turkified) where this music & dance had originated.To this date when the Sassoun associations have festivals or picnics we perform this music & dance.We have kept our culture,language & traditions to the day when we’ll all return back to our homeland inshallah.
      Kurds have great music & I advise you to listen to Kamkars,youtube it.
      Isn’t it enough for you that you’ve committed Genocide,stolen our lands lands,destroyed our churches,cemeteries,monuments & now is the turn of our music & dance again?
      Can’t you even imagine that the Kurds were influenced by our music & dance?Of course not.That might ruin your intellectual capabilities.
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    • RVDV:I totally agree with the comment.Ataturk was a disaster for us the Armenians & Kurds & great for Turkey.However,it amuses me tremendously to see the nightmare of Ataturk worshipers.

  21. Ahmet, VTiger is correct.

    And everyone knows that Noah’s Ark was built by a Dutch carpenter:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2170080/Dutch-carpenter-builds-scale-replica-Noahs-Ark-plans-sail-Thames-Olympics.html

  22. Ataturk being of Armenian descent has not been proven as of now: it is just a conjecture. He could be of Jewish descent or some other ethnicity.
    His adopted daughter Sabiha was of Armenian descent. (Ataturk adopted many others, non-Armenians, in addition to Sabiha).

    What is not a conjecture though, is that the Latin based modern Turkish alphabet in use by the proud, superior Turks was created by…..you guessed it: an Armenian.

    [The current 29-letter Turkish alphabet was established as a personal initiative of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It was founded by an Armenian, Hagop Martayan Dilaçar].

  23. Regarding the Van cat:

    There is a long entry @Wiki about the Van cat, so I will not repeat it here (it is an interesting read).
    Armenians, Kurds, and Turks consider it, respectively, their own.
    The city of Van, and the name ‘Van’, predates the arrival of Turks to the area by several centuries, at least, so Turks calling the Van cat ‘Turkish’ is a little disingenuous.
    Since Kurds are also an ancient people that have lived in the general area for 1000s of years, their claim is more plausible.

    Regarding Kangal kopegi:

    Since the breed, Armenian Gampr, has been anthropologically dated as a unique breed to about 3,000 years back, indigenous to Armenian Highlands, it would be a little difficult for Turks to have bred it, unless they can show convincing evidence that Seljuks brought the boulders and the dogs with them about 1000 years ago.

    And to see the absurd lengths Turks will go to erase any traces of Armenian and Kurdish presence in their own lands, read this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4328285.stm

    Red fox known as Vulpes Vulpes Kurdistanica becomes Vulpes Vulpes.
    Wild sheep called Ovis Armeniana becomes Ovis Orientalis Anatolicus.
    Roe deer known as Capreolus Capreolus Armenus becomes Capreolus Cuprelus Capreolus.

    • Great comment Avery.These acts are part of the cultural Genocide.
      I’m wondering as to why my comment regarding the Armenian Sassoun music & dance is not being published by the moderator.It says…Your comment is awaiting moderation.Nothing insulting in it.

    • VTiger:

      I see your comment above (Aug 27) {….Ahmet,just to educate you a bit.The music at the 15th minute is not Kurdish but Armenian from the region of Sassoun }

      unless you posted something after that.

    • Thanks Avery.It was another comment regarding the Armenian & not Kurdish dance & music being from the region of Sassoun.Anyway point was made.

  24. avatar Random Armenian // August 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm // Reply

    Here’s some more info on the Soviet Mars 2&3 missions which carried a mini rover to Mars. The first link has a video of how the cute little rover would have worked. Too bad the missions failed.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/meet-the-very-first-rover-to-land-on-mars

    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1971-049F

    • nice vid of the little rover: pretty clever idea of mobility. simple. not too many things to go wrong.

      yeah, too bad the mission failed.

  25. avatar Random Armenian // August 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm // Reply

    Here’s another Armenian who ended up involved with the US space program, specifically Apollo 11 mission. He was an engineer in microelectronics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Keonjian

    http://www.engr.arizona.edu/news/story.php?id=59

    • well, according to both links, he was not just an engineer in microelectronics, but was the “father of microelectronics”: quite different than being just an engineer.

      interestingly Wiki also claims he designed a prototype of the Integrated Circuit in 1959 (not the same as microelectronics): the same year Kilby and Noyce independently applied for IC patents. the link in Wiki for Keonjian IC claim goes to a Russian language site, but the IC citation is a dead end.

      he may have done it, but need to find evidence.
      it is quite plausible though: going from microelectronics to an IC is the next logical step for miniaturization.

  26. This is wonderful news that so many Armenians were involved with the Mars Rover Curiosity! I even know one of them and had no idea that he was involved. Very humble and smart. Congratulations to all the team members!

  27. We are few, but they call us ARMENIANS! – Paruyr Sevak

  28. Sevak – you are right, we are few but they call us Armenians – Remind Ahmet shaydan ogle, that we are few but have invented the following to the world:

    Inventer of Mig fighters – Armenian.

    Science

    List of Armenian scientists and philosophers >>

    Hovannes Adamian – inventor of the color television
    Evgeny Aramovich Abramyan – founder of several research directions in the Soviet and Russian nuclear technology
    Daron Acemoglu – among the 20 most cited economists in the world, winner of the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal
    Sergei Adian – Soviet mathematician
    George Adomian- mathematician, developer of Adomian decomposition method
    Tateos Agekian – astrophysicist, one of the pioneers of Stellar Dynamics
    Hagop S. Akiskal – psychiatrist best known for his pioneering research on temperament and bipolar disorder (manic depression).
    Armen Alchian – economist
    Artem Alikhanian – one of the founders of experimental nuclear and cosmic-ray physics in USSR
    Abraham Alikhanov – one of the founders of nuclear physics in USSR, founder of the first nuclear reactor of USSR
    Viktor Ambartsumian – one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics
    Emil Artin – one of the leading algebraists of the 20th century, one of the founding fathers of modern algebra
    Michael Artin – mathematician, contributed to Algebraic geometry
    Gurgen Askaryan – physicist, inventor of light self focusing
    Lev Atamanov – one of the founders of Soviet animation art
    Boris Babaian – the father of supercomputing in the former Soviet Union and Russia. Second European to hold the Intel Fellow title. Originator of the world’s first superscalar computer.
    Mikhail Chailakhyan – founder of hormonal theory of plant development
    Artur Chilingarov – Russian polar explorer
    Richard Donchian – the father of Trend Following Trading, one of the most outstanding figures of all time in the field of commodity money management
    George Ganjian – produced the first modern circuit board in the United States, which eventually was used by NASA during the first lunar landing.
    Grigor Gurzadyan – founder of space astronomy
    Spiru Haret – Romanian astronomer, who made a fundamental contribution to the n-body problem, initially aimed at modelling the planetary motions in our Solar System.
    Paris Herouni – projected and built the world’s first radio-optical telescope
    Bagrat Ioannisiani – constructor of new astronomical instruments, chief designer of BTA-6, the largest telescope in the world
    Andronik Iosifyan – Soviet engineer, one of the founders of missilery and cosmonautics, the father of electromechanics in USSR, chief designer of the first Soviet meteorological satellites of Earth. Inventor of noncontact synchronized transmissions
    Anna Kazanjian Longobardo – author of contributions to the aerospace engineering field, the first woman to receive the Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering achievement
    Alexander Kemurdzhian – engineer, designer of the first rovers to explore space, the founder of the school of space transport engineering.
    Edward Keonjian – pioneer of microelectronics, designer of the world’s first solar-powered, pocket-sized radio transmitter
    Leonid Khachiyan – mathematician, computer scientist, who proved the existence of an efficient way to solve linear programming problems
    Semyon Davidovich Kirlian – inventor of Kirlian Photography, discovered that living matter emits energy fields.
    Ivan Knunyants – chemist, Major General, four times an awardee of the USSR State Award. In chemical science he introduced historical changes and significantly contributed to the advancement of Soviet Chemistry. Founder of Soviet school of fluorocarbon’s chemistry, one of major developers of Soviet chemical weapons program.
    Ignacy Lukasiewicz – Polish pharmacist of Armenian descent, devised the first method of distilling kerosene from seep oil.
    Benjamin Markarian – astrophysicist
    Sergey Mergelyan – mathematician, the author of major contributions in Approximation Theory. The modern Complex Approximation Theory is based on Mergelyan’s classical work.
    Artem Mikoyan – designer of MiG aircraft, including the first supersonic Soviet jet fighter.
    Robert Nalbandyan – chemist, the co-discoverer of photosynthetic protein plantacyanin, a pioneer in the field of free radicals.
    Yuri Oganessian – physicist, one of the founders of heavy ion physics, author of the discoveries of heaviest elements of the Periodic Table.
    Yuri Osipyan – physicist, author of fundamental contribution to the physics of movements in solid bodies and inventor of photoplastic effect. Y. A. Osipian for many years was the Vice-President of the USSR Academy of Sciences
    Anna Schchian – botanist
    Georgy Shakhnazarov – one of the founders of political science in USSR
    Luther George Simjian – inventor of ATM, flight simulator and more
    Norair Sisakian – one of the founders of space biology, pioneer in biochemistry of sub-cell structures and technical biochemistry, one of the first in the mid-1940s to start the studies of plant cell structures. Author of the new concept of chloroplasts as polyfunctional cell structures. The first Soviet scientist to work in UNESCO.
    Armen Takhtajan – botanist
    Karen Ter-Martirosian – theoretician, made important contributions to the understanding of high-energy physics phenomena. Created new trends in the theory of strong interactions, was one of the founders of theory of strong interactions at high-energies. Author of fundamental contributions to quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.
    Alenush Terian- first Iranian-Armenian female astrophysicist
    Avadis Tevanian – computer scientist, the architect of Apple’s OS X
    Nikolay Yenikolopov – chemist of the former USSR, one of the founders of Russian polymer science [edit] Medicine
    John Iguidbashian – pediatric cardiovascular surgeon
    George Aghajanian – physician, neuropharmacologist and pioneer in serotonin receptor research.

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