This is how Katya Echazarreta works to promote the Mexican space industry
The first Mexican woman to travel to space seeks to make it a priority for national development.
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Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican woman astronaut, who was recently chosen by Forbes en Español as one of the ‘100 Most Powerful Women’ in Mexico, told the publication that she wants to contribute to developing the space industry in the Latin American country.
After having flown into space a little over a year ago (June 4, 2022), Echazarreta, who after her return to Earth set herself the goal of expanding interest in space travel in Mexico, continues to call for national authorities to create policies and invest resources to develop this industry.
The astronaut highlighted in the interview:
A few months ago, we started working on a space reform. This reform has already been approved in Congress, it is currently in the Senate. I have been working a lot with the nation's senators, publicizing the reform, explaining its importance so that it can be approved this year, before the change of administration, and we are doing very well.
The promotion and socialization work of Echazarreta, who is an electronics engineer from the University of California, has already delivered some positive results.
On the one hand, according to information from the Chamber of Deputies, the opinion was approved with a draft decree that reforms articles 28 and 73 of the Political Constitution, regarding the regulation of activities in outer space.
Hoy se cumple un año de mi vuelo al espacio y para celebrar, durante la semana estaré compartiendo momentos muy especiales de esta experiencia.— Ing. Kat Echazarreta (@katvoltage) June 4, 2023
Espero que me acompañen ya que ustedes son una parte fundamental del motor que me inspira a seguir adelante. pic.twitter.com/M4yAAAJmRZ
Echazarreta has two objectives from this reform: The first is to make the space industry a priority for national development; the second, is to empower Congress so that it can legislate on the matter.
“Many people still don't understand the impact of space technology on their daily lives and how much it has impacted them for generations. Therefore, much of our work focuses on socializing the issue in the nation. We get questions like why this should be a priority when we have issues like health, safety and food insecurity. However, the reality is that this industry is one of the few that helps us with each of these things,” emphasized Echazarreta.
On the other hand, the other great project that Katya is about to launch, and about which she spoke to Forbes en Español for the first time, is a series of summer camps aimed at young people in the secondary level, with the aim of "inspiring, motivating and teaching them the opportunities that exist in the (space) industry.”
The initiative seeks to show them the variety of professional careers around this sector.
“It is not only about engineers, scientists and astronauts, but about space lawyers, accountants, administrators, human resources, artists, among others. We are working in collaboration with organizations, companies and also the government,” said the astronaut.
Echazarreta, who wants camps to be organized every summer in various states of the country, highlights that this type of camp is the first of its kind in the entire Latin American region, and the first will be held in Jalisco, the place of her birth.
Through this initiative, young people will have access to workshops on robotics, electronics, programming, science dissemination, medicine, physical training, physical and mental health, among others.
“In the end, (the children) are going to have an analogous mission (simulation of a real mission to space) […] The students are going to be able to fly a plane in simulation and we are going to select one student from each week, because we are going to give away a special flight in an airplane with a flight instructor,” concluded Echazarreta.