In the history of NASA, there are many Latin Americans who have left an indelible mark, either as astronauts or as research scientists. We remember a handful of them, and present them in chronological order.
Most of them are born in the lands of Latin America, Others are Latinos who immigrated to the United States. All have been central to the US agency’s space programs.
One by one, these are their names and their most important contributions.
Humberto Fernandez Moran (Venezuela)
Fernandez Moran (1924-1999) was a biophysicist and physician who invented the diamond scalpel, used in the Apollo program to study lunar rocks. Trained in Germany, the United States, and Sweden, he was a research professor at the University of Chicago, and also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Your studies have been recorded In the following link NASA Technical Information Service.
Hector Rafael Rojas (Venezuela)
Doctor of Astrophysics from the Sorbonne, he worked as a mathematician for the NASA Apollo program. Rojas (1928-1991) was key in calculations of the Apollo XI mission landing site. All your contributions have been registered In the following link NASA Technical Information Service.
Franklin Chang Diaz (Costa Rica)
He is the first Latin American to be selected as an astronaut at NASA (1981), Although he first traveled to space in 1986, on the STS 61-C mission of the shuttle Columbia. Born in Costa Rica in 1950, he holds a Doctor of Science from the University of Connecticut, as well as a Juris Doctor from Colegio Babson.
Rodolfo Neri Villa (Mexico)
the first A Mexican astronaut goes into space and the second person from Latin America, Behind Cuban astronaut Arnaldo Tamayo Mendes. Born in Chilpancingo de los Bravos (1952), he was part of the STS-61-B mission of the space shuttle Atlantis, in 1985. He later participated in the design of the Space Station Alpha (ESA).
Elaine Ochoa (Mexico)
The first Latin American woman to go into space. Ochoa (1958) was born in Los Angeles, but she is the granddaughter of Mexicans. He took part in four space missions: STS-56 (1993), STS-66 (1994), STS-96 (1999) and STS-110 (2002), in which he has accumulated almost a thousand flight hours. She was appointed director of the Johnson Space Center in 2013.
Miguel San Martin (Argentina)
Born in Villa Regina, Argentina (1959), San Martin is an electronic engineer and researcher at NASA, He was involved in the design and development of control systems for exploration vehicles, including four missions to Mars. He is the Head of Engineering and Control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has worked since 1985.
Eduardo Bendick (Chile)
Mechanical Engineer with Male in Astrophysics, Chilean Bendek He is a research scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, With more than 10 years in developing astronomical instrument materials. He is also a founding partner of Yx Ltda, an advanced telecommunications equipment manufacturer.
Diana Trujillo (Colombia)
Born in Cali, Colombia (1981), space engineer Diana Trujillo Pomerantz is the commander of NASA’s Curiosity mission, exploring the surface and atmosphere of Mars. He leads the team of engineers at JPL responsible for the robotic arm of the Perseverance Wagon.
Araceli Quispe Nera (Peru)
Aerospace engineer born in Maripon, Lambayeque, Peru (1982). She is the first Latin American to lead three successful NASA missions: Tropical Precipitation Measurement (TRMM), the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and the James Webb Space Telescope. Served as chief engineer of spaceflight operations and systems at launch James Webb Space Telescope.
Rosa Avalos – Warren (Peru)
Rosa Avalos Warren from Lima He is an aerospace engineer from Virginia Tech and holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University. He currently serves as mission manager for human spaceflight at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and is key to the work of the Artemis program, which will take the first woman and next man to the moon.
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