Katya Echazarreta, electrical engineer and scientific disseminator, has become the first Mexican to travel to space thanks to the company founded by Jeff Bezos and the help of Space For Humanity.
Katya Echazarreta, a 26-year-old Mexican engineer, fulfilled one of her greatest dreams: Traveling to space. This happened after Space for Humanity (SFH) chose her as the organization’s first astronaut ambassador. Echazarreta was selected from more than 7,000 applicants from over 100 countries to travel on Blue Origin’s NS-21 flight, which took off on June 4, 2022, at 08:26 pmTexas and lasted approximately 10 minutes.
Echazarreta previously worked as a test leader for NASA and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She is also a co-host of the YouTube series “Netflix IRL” and “Electric Kat” on the CBS show “Mission Unstoppable.”
The 26-year-old was born in Guadalajara and lives in the United States. She stated that one of her goals is to represent women and minorities interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
At 18, Echazarreta entered San Diego City College, where she studied electrical engineering from 2013 to 2016 and finished her studies in 2019 at the University of California, Los Angeles. During her training, the now 26-year-old Mexican was a research assistant at UCLA for The Henry Samueli School of Engineering (HSSoE) and also did a one-year internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Then she started working full-time as an engineer at JPL, specifically on NASA’s Europa Clipper projects.
After graduating from UCLA and having completed her internship year at NASA, Katya Echazarreta participated in Project PoSSUM. There she received training to become a suborbital scientific astronaut. Her studies and experience at NASA seem to have motivated her to become a scientific disseminator. Today, Echazarreta shares information related to science and space through platforms such as YouTube and TikTok.
Katya Echazarreta, already on the ground, has shared how she feels after fulfilling a promise that she made herself at the age of 7. She tweeted, “Every time I try to sleep, I keep seeing Earth. The curvature, the colors, the clouds… it’s changed my outlook on life.”
The aerospace company had also shared images of the moment when Katya and the rest of the crew reached the Kármán line.
Who Participated in Mission NS-21, New Shepard’s Fifth Crewed Flight?
-Katya Echazarreta, electrical engineer and former NASA test leader.
-Evan Dick, investor, and NS-19 astronaut.
-Hamish Harding, private jet pilot and president of Action Aviation.
-Víctor Correa Hespanha, civil production engineer.
-Jaison Robinson, co-founder of Dream Variation Ventures.
-Victor Vescovo, retired commander and co-founder of private equity firm Insight Equity.
Katya Echazarreta landed safely after parachuting into the desert. The crew waited for the support team to arrive for a few minutes, the Mexican being one of the last to leave the space capsule.
After landing, the astronaut was happy and enthusiastic about completing the mission. Immediately, she hugged one of her companions while waiting for her mother, who got permission to accompany her during takeoff. The transmission showed the young astronaut jumping with a huge smile on her face for a few seconds.