A student of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) will lead a simulated NASA mission to Mars conducted by the University of North Dakota (UND).
Telecommunications engineering student Danton Iván Bazaldua Morquecho was chosen to lead the venture due to his experience at the head of other simulations, such as a 2107 Poland Mars mission.
The mission’s objective is to test technology made for actual missions to the red planet, such as space suits. The results will also yield information useful for the colonization of Mars.
The mission will take place on October 2-16 in NASA facilities as part of a program designed to stimulate competitive research.
“My role as commander is to examine and experiment with ideas developed by myself, the University of North Dakota and NASA, as well as some of the crew’s projects,” said Bazaldua in a UNAM press release.
“We all have experience in simulations, but unlike others, this one is completely scientific, with complex and extremely rigorous objectives, experiments and schedules.”
Bazaldua said it will be the first entirely Latin American crew to participate in a project at the U.S. university. That is thanks to Pablo Gabriel de León, an Argentinian aerospace engineer who works with NASA to make space suits for the next missions to Mars and the moon, and who will also work on the project.
For Bazaldua, getting to Mars is important because it produces strategic advantages, and shouldn’t be seen as mere human achievement. He says that nations invest resources in space missions because they generate economic, political, social and national security benefits.
Balzaldua believes that the Earth will look to space for resources that become scarce, and work like his will be seen as a necessity.
Source: Milenio (sp)