26 | MAR | 2019
NASA uniforms are made in Mexico
The factory is located in Yucatán, Mexico – Photo: Aaron M. Sprecher/EFE

NASA uniforms are made in Mexico

Yazmín Rodríguez / Corresponsal
Valladolid, Yucatán
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Besides making all those uniforms for NASA, they also create special clothes for scientists from international laboratories

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Very few know this but NASA lab coats, shirts, overalls, jackets, boots, and special suits are made in Yucatán, Mexico.

Over 550 people work at Grupo Alsico Promex, in Valladolid, located 160 kilometers from Mérida. All the workers have been trained between three and six months to be able to work in this factory, which is equipped with the most advanced technology in the world.

The company was established 10 months ago in Yucatán, with an investment of MXN $52 million. Besides making all those uniforms for NASA, they also create special clothes for scientists from international chemical laboratories, among others.

Grupo Alsico Promex's general director, Adrián Carabias Anzorena, explains that the company plans to expand to other municipalities as a result of the conditions offered to them by the state and its people.

Carabias Anzorena said that another important factor to establish the company in Yucatán was security and its geographical location, as it is located near an important port that makes it easier to import special fabrics, and also for the exportation of their products to the U.S. and European markets.

The company has 90% of Belgian capital and 10% of Mexican capital and for now, it requires at least another 400 employees.

Made in Mexico for the NASA

Carabias Anzorena took EL UNIVERSAL on a tour through the facilities, where we could see the sophisticated equipment used to make the clothes and uniforms, following high-quality standards.

The director explains that in every case, the execution has to be exact and that there's no room for mistakes because if the clothing items are slightly different, it can no longer be used.

The industrial equipment is operated by Mexican personnel, who uses an established design and saws the clothing, which can't have any flaw.

Carabias Anzorena explains that in regards to the items for NASA, they used a special fabric called “cleaning room,” a synthetic polyester with 2% of polycarbonate. He says that NASA gives them very specific requirements for the equipment.

The factory's manager, Rafael Villa, said that the company obtained its contract to make uniforms and special clothing items for NASA through its subsidiary in the United States.

The suits made for NASA have to follow certain specifications, and they are worn by technicians and scientists that work on the platform or in restricted areas in the space center.

The subsidiary in the United States established the contact, as in the case with other subsidiaries in Belgium and Europe, markets where the company plans to expand to.

The suits for the NASA have to follow specific characteristics; the main one is none of those clothing items can't have static electricity or an excess of electric charge, therefore, the clothing has to be insulating.

Another requirement is that it can't have hanging threads or any other flaw, they have to fulfill all the requirements or they are rejected by NASA.

Carabias Anzorena revealed that once the factory in Valladolid has all the personnel it needs, they plan to expand to other municipalities.

The workers earn a minimum of MXN $1,743 a week plus several other bonuses. The company is planning to open a daycare for its employees soon.


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