UNAM student to lead analog mission to Mars
This computer-generated image depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight – Photo: NASA/REUTERS

UNAM student to lead analog mission to Mars

02/10/2019
14:56
Newsroom
Mexico City
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In 2006, Danton Bazaldua was appointed one of the four emerging leaders in the aerospace sector by the Space Generation Advisory Council of the United Nations

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Danton Iván Bazaldua Morquecho, student of the Engineering Faculty (FI) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), will be in command of the Latin American crew in the eighth analog mission to Mars, that will take place in the University of North Dakota in the U.S.

The student was selected to be in charge of this journey, to be held from October 2 to 16, due to his experience in other analog simulations. “With the objective to develop and test technology planned for real missions to the red planet, such as spacesuits and human factors that will be crucial for the search and success in Mars conquest,” as reported in a UNAM’s release.
 

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The project will take place at the University of North Dakota in facilities financed by NASA through its Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

“As commander, my function is to examine and experiment with developments of the University of North Dakota and NASA, as well as some projects of the crew. There will be four members from Latin America: Atila Meszaros (Peru), David Mateus (Colombia), and Marcos Bruno (Argentina). We have experience in analog simulations, but this, compared to others, is completely scientific, with complex objectives, and an extremely strict schedule,” explained Bazaldua.
 

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According to UNAM, it will be the first time the U.S. university will have a crew completely made up of Latin Americans. It is an achievement derived from the interest of Pablo Gabriel de León, an aerospace engineer from Argentina that works with NASA and is focused on the development of spacesuits for the next missions to the Moon and Mars.

“In 2006, Danton Bazaldua was appointed one of the four emerging leaders in the aerospace sector by the Space Generation Advisory Council, a body of the United Nations. He made an academic stay at San Petersburg Polytechnic in Russia, where he developed missions and communication protocols with nanosatellites,” said UNAM.
 

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