Mexican student seeks to boost the aerospace industry in Mexico

Mexican student seeks to boost the aerospace industry in Mexico

MEXICO – In the middle of last year, electronics engineer Katya Echazarreta became the first Mexican and the youngest American to travel into space after participating in Blue Origin's NS-21 mission.

The journey, which lasted just 10 minutes, not only changed her life when she was 26 years old at the time, but catapulted her to fame in her country. Now, she has paused her NASA career and is fighting to accelerate Mexico's aerospace industry by promoting constitutional reform and legislation for the sector.

"That is the most basic, the most necessary thing, because it is not only stopping the progress of the Government, of the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), but also of private companies that perhaps would like to create something, such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Axiom, but they can't," she said in an interview with Reuters.

The Guadalajara-born astronaut, who emigrated to the United States with her family at the age of eight, said that she is seeking two reforms to the Mexican Constitution that would increase AEM's budget, create rocket launch bases and facilitate the installation of aerospace companies.

Mexico's civil aerospace industry has taken a leap forward in recent years, but has focused more on aircraft parts manufacturing and equipment maintenance than on spacecraft and rockets.

Echazarreta hopes that the changes can be approved before the current congress concludes its term in August 2024, and that Mexico becomes a country that develops its own technology

For now, she is also looking to make a difference in her sector, so she is trying to shape a foundation to support space technology and development.