Earlier this week, NASA confirmed that liquid water exists on Mars, meaning there’s a chance of finding life on the planet. One thing the agency didn’t make so public, though, is that a metalhead US student helped the discovery along by proposing the whole idea in the first place.
Lujendra Ojha is a 25-year-old Nepalese-American graduate student at The Georgia Institute of Technology who aside from proposing the findings which led to NASA’s investigation, used to be in an experimental metal band called Gorkha, who had songs with uber-metal titles like The Warrior’s Creed, Deity and Memoirs Of The Excommunicated.
Speaking to CNET about the band, our metal-loving mate Lujendra says he left his music career behind because it just wasn’t working out financially.
“Yeah, that was an old life,” Lujendra says.
“I was kind of in poverty with music. I wasn’t making enough money so I said screw music, let’s go to science, maybe there’s more money in it. But there isn’t money in science either.”
Gorkha’s band page on Unsigned Entertainment says the group were influenced by acts like Children Of Bodom, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, DevilDriver and Slayer, and it certainly shows. Watch Lujendra tear shit up with the band in the clips below.
NASA’s discovery of water on Mars dates back to a study which Lujendra helmed as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. The study was a thesis on RSL or ‘recurring slope lineae’, which is the name given to the lines of flowing salt water which were observed on Mars after Lujendra and his mate Alfred McEwen suggested their existence.
Lujendra is currently taking part in a National Science Foundation fellowship in France, where he’s not even talking himself up as someone who was partly responsible for NASA’s latest big discovery.
“I’m not on a vacation… I’m here trying to do some experiments,” Lujendra says. “Tough luck, right?”
Here’s to you, Lujendra, for going from metal to Mars for the benefit of all humanity.
Watch: Gorkha – The Warrior’s Creed (Live)
Watch: Gorkha – Memoirs Of The Excommunicated (Live)