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Mexicans Touch the Stars - El Sol de Toluca

Mexicans Touch the Stars – El Sol de Toluca

The universe has always been an object of attraction for humans, and is in fact the only space we have in common, so scientists never cease to be amazed every time they travel into space, study a star, or simply observe the stars.

Although there are still shortcomings in Mexico for promoting astronomical or astrophysics research, there are many Mexicans who continue to raise the name of the country, through their experiments at NASA and research related to planetary sciences.

Currently, they have surpassed the name of promising young people in this field as well as in the field of astronomy, among them: Katia Icharita, Guillermo Chen Canchi, Joel Sanchez Bermúdez and Raúl Tovar Contreras.

Mexiquense proudly

Raúl Tovar Contreras, originally from Toluca, secured a place at the Jagiellonian University in Poland, where Nicholas Copernicus graduated. He is the only Mexican and Mexican student currently studying planetary science, which is not in Mexico, and also aspires to become an astronaut one day.

In an interview with El Sol de Toluca, the 23-year-old student who graduated from Tecnológico de Monterrey High School has achieved the feat of undertaking a space mission, after being sheltered for fifteen days to simulate a life similar to Who would take another planet.

“The planetary science profession as such does not exist in Mexico, the closest thing called Earth sciences is at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), but it wasn’t close to what I wanted,” he said.

The private pilot also commented that he arrived in Poland in October 2021 and is due to complete his preparation in planetary sciences in two years, because bachelor’s degrees in Europe have that duration and master’s degrees – which are optional – also last for two years.

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“My dream is to one day become an astronaut or apply, but to achieve that, I must first obtain a master’s degree. For this reason, I see that my aviation training will serve me well, but I have to get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees first.”

The Mexican student emphasized that the support of his parents, Sarah Rosa Contreras – a dentist – and Raúl Tovar Garcia – an entrepreneur – was crucial in achieving all his goals.

Another point he highlighted is that on space missions and at a research base called Lunares, which has an agreement with the European Research Agency, he is doing the work of a representative astronaut, making simulations of what his life would be like on another planet. . , as well as the type of food they will have to carry.

“We’ve been training on Earth, so once we go to space we know how to behave properly. Here we have to properly prepare ourselves before facing the real activity on another planet,” he emphasized.

He added that in the missions, various tasks are carried out, among them: 3D printing of geological tools so that they know how to successfully face any adverse situation that may be when they perform a mission to the moon or any other planet. arise, like the fact that they will not reach or break.

In addition to the above, they currently have another project to grow plants in meteorites, and for this they have had the support of a researcher from Warsaw, who he and his colleagues supplied with a jar with the aforementioned piece.

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“We want to test what kind of plants will be more resilient to the outside, because they all grow on Earth, but the same won’t happen on the Moon or Mars, because the soils of other planets are very poor in nutrients.” confirmed.

the most beautiful picture

Joel Sanchez Bermúdez is also from Mexico. He had always wanted to be an astronomer, but in Mexico there was no career in astrophysics, so he eventually chose mechatronics.

From there he began his career as an astronomer specializing in the study of massive stars.

“(Massive stars) are the stars that have at least or a large part of the base of the Sun and are important for the chemical evolution of galaxies, because they make most of the heavy elements that make up the universe, either during their lifetime or when they are dying in the form of a supernova explosion,” the specialist explains.

The Mexican, a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), won in 2018 the award for reconstructing a more beautiful and accurate astronomical image, through interferometry technology.

“We combine several telescopes to observe an object in the sky, however, this technology does not record images, because interferometers do not, interferometers record data called vision and then you have to use it to reconstruct the images,” explains the young scientific man.

Currently, the young scientist is focused on a project to observe some high-mass stars, to analyze whether systems come in pairs or multiple systems, in addition, he continues to work on new techniques for reconstructing the image.

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A young man of Maya descent

Of Mayan descent, Guillermo Chin Canché carries his passion for the stars in his veins, which led him to be chosen to participate in one of NASA’s most important projects: the exploration of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.

Therefore, in March of next year, Chen Kanshi will travel to the United States to be part of “Dragon Fly”.

Currently, the young man is studying for his Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography at the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE) in Ensenada, Baja California. He asserts that it was always his goal to be a scientist.

woman in space

Regarded as the first woman to travel to space, Katya Ichazarita on the fifth manned flight of the space carrier Blue Origin, by Jeff Bezos, is on the NS-21 mission, thus fulfilling her dream: knowledge of outer space.

The young woman is a graduate of the University of California, with a degree in electrical engineering. He started his career with an internship at NASA. (With information from Myriam Seles).