The story of Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican to travel to space

Space is still a great unknown in human knowledge, but we learn more and more about this vast scenario, as well as the number of people who arrive outside the stratosphere, as is the case of Katya Echazarreta, an astronaut from Mexico who has marked history for being the first woman from her country to reach the cosmos and the story of how she achieved this has captivated millions in social networks around the world after becoming trend.

The dream of seeing the stars

katya have 26 yearsbut also dual nationality, the mexican and the Americanbut she assures that she feels a great attachment to the land where she was born, so much so that when interviewed by BBC World He assured that the trip to space was done for a reason: “I do it for you”alluding to the Mexican nation and his native Guadalajara.

And adds: “I want you to see my story, to see everything I have done and to know that if you have this dream, that if you want to do the same as me, you can”reveals the woman who as a child dreamed of touching the stars and did so at traveling at more than 3,200 kilometers per hourexceeding 100 kilometers of altitude where space begins on board the New Shepardrocket was manufactured by the company Blue Origin.

katya remembers that when he told his dream, many children his age assured him that it would never happen: “Everyone told me that this was a children’s dream, that it was not going to happen, that it was impossible, that I should focus on something more ‘serious’ (…) When a girl tells someone, there will be no excuse, because happened, I already did it and they can too. Use my experience as that sign you needed.”.

Entry into space life

When it grew, katya entered the community college where he studied electrical engineering, but would later do so after entering the University of California at Los Angelesalso known as UCLA. This served him to, later, make the leap to the POT where he started as an intern Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); soon he would have a full-time contract.

At that moment, his family did not have much moneynor a fixed place to live, to make matters worse, her parents had just separated and she was the only one with a secure job at home.

“The only thing that helped me get ahead was knowing that the Universe He is so big and we are so small. We are on this planet and we are so small. All the good and bad things that have happened are on this planet. And, even if something seems big or impossible, when you see it from that perspective it is very small”commented to BBC World.

The New Shepard rocket carried 6 passengers, including the Mexican Katya Echazarreta.  (Photo: @katvoltage/Twitter)
The New Shepard rocket carried 6 passengers, including the Mexican Katya Echazarreta. (Photo: @katvoltage/Twitter)

Applying for a dream

In 2019, Space for Humanity (S4H) launched a program for “common people” experience what they called the “perspective effect” (which consists of observing the planet from space, whose purpose is to encourage them to seek solutions for the Land), which interested our protagonist: “I applied with no response. Nothing, nothing, nothing, for a year, and then they sent me an email (telling me) that I was a semifinalist.”.

The Mexican was chosen among 7 thousand applicants: “After answering the last question was when they gave me the news. I started to cry and the first thing I said was something about my mom.the reaction of the young woman with her mother, went viral on various social networks at the time.

Getting ready for the big moment

What followed was the preparation, being subjected to tests of G Force, microgravity, oxygen loss, as well as being prepared to react to possible extreme situations; all of these she passed successfully, so she was ready to finally know the space.

“The number one reason for me is that space has always helped me in everything. It is something that has always been constant for me, during my most difficult moments. I feel a connection with outer space that is the end of the cycle to be able to see it with my own eyes (…) if you have a dream, if you want to do the same as me, you can. Use my experience as that signal that you needed to move on.”he expressed.

an extraordinary vision

Therefore, in mid-July, the New Shepard took her and the rest of the crew to the edge of the Land with outer space as part of the NS-21 missionwhich was launched at 8:25 in the morning, with a speed of about 3 thousand 604 kilometers per hour.

The machine came to exceed its own path, as reported Blue Originwhere the 6 passengers, including the Mexican, could not only contemplate the earth from the outside, but also the space that surrounds them, as well as experience gravity for a few moments.

Katya is aware that she is an example to follow for millions of Mexicans and Latino immigrants in the United States.  (Photo: @katvoltage/Twitter)
Katya is aware that she is an example to follow for millions of Mexicans and Latino immigrants in the United States. (Photo: @katvoltage/Twitter)

After the estimated time is up, the ccapsule descended in free fall inside our planet helped by three huge parachutes.

Set an example to fulfill dreams

Immediately, katya has become a visible face of immigrants who come to the United States in search of fulfilling the call “American dream”and she knows that she can serve as an example for this: “I started working to help not only students from the USA who have high aspirations like mine, but also to women in Mexico who hear the same words that I used to hear frequently: ‘it’s not for you’”sentenced.

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