Rodolfo Neri Vela, first Mexican in Space

Rodolfo Neri Vela was born in Chilpancingo, Guerrero on February 19, 1952. He was part of the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1985, being the first Mexican and second Latin-American astronaut in space.

Neri Vela obtained a bachelor’s degree on Mechanical and Electrical Engineering majoring in Communications from Mexico’s National University (UNAM) in 1975. He obtained a masters degree in telecommunication systems from University of Essex, England; and in 1979 he became a doctor in electromagnetic radiation at University of Birmingham, England.

From November 26 to December 3 in 1985 he was a payload specialist on Mission STS-61-B on Space Shuttle Atlantis. This space shuttle took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and landed at the Air Force Edwards Base in California. This mission’s goal was to put three communication satellites into orbit, including Morelos B for Mexican communications. Upon concluding the mission, Neri Vela had traveled 2.4 million miles on 108 orbits to the Earth during 165 hours in space.

Dr. Neri Vela participated from 1989 to 1990 in the design of Alfa Space Station from the European Space Agency. During the last years he has been dedicated to teach mathematics, electromagnetic theory, electric circuits, signal analysis, antennas and satellite communication at the School of Engineering of UNAM.

In 1991 he was inducted to the International Space Hall of Fame.
Regarding his space mission, Dr. Neri Vela said: "From space I see myself as one more person among the millions and millions who loved, live, and will live on Earth. Inevitably, this makes one think about our existence and the way in which we should live to enjoy, to share, our short lives as fully as possible."

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México
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Fotografía tomada de Wikipedia.Org