Mexico's first woman astronaut eyes aerospace boost

STORY: Katya Echazarreta became the first Mexican woman to travel to space

When in June 2022 she joined the fifth crewed launch

of Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.

This was her exiting the capsule with her crew members..

Aged 26 – she also became the youngest American to visit space.

Now, she’s put her career at NASA on pause to work on a bill in Mexico-

to amend the constitution and pass the necessary laws

and boost the local aerospace industry.

She says private companies such as Space X or Blue Origin don’t have a place in Mexico

without a legal frame regulating, for example, the launch of rockets.

[Katya Echazarreta, First Mexican Woman Astronaut]

“Mexico lacks the legal base to have an aerospace industry. Mexico doesn’t have the necessary laws and constitution to launch a rocket from this country. This is the most basic, the most essential because not only does it halt progress from the government’s side, the Mexican space agency, but also from private enterprises that maybe would set up something like Space X, Blue Origin, or Axion, but they can’t even if they wanted.”

Echezarreta was born in the city of Guadalajara and moved to the U.S. as a child.

In August 2022 she received the keys to Mexico City from mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.

In a speech she stressed it was important for her to become a role model for people at home in Mexico.

“To me, it was sad to talk to engineers that studied the same degree as me, and they are fixing mobile phones, washing machines, or they dropped engineer, and now they are paramedics or driving an Uber. I understand this reality.”