Katya Echazarreta becomes first Mexican-born woman in space

Katya Echazarreta will soon be making out-of-this-world (literally!) history. (photo courtesy of Google Images)

Katya Echazarreta will soon be making out-of-this-world (literally!) history. (photo courtesy of Google Images)

She desired to go to space as a child in Guadalajara, Mexico, and while many would often tell her to give up on her dreams, she proved them wrong.

On June 7, Katya Echazarreta became the first Mexican-born woman to journey into space, launching into the sky on the New Shepard spacecraft.

Echazarreta was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and her space ambitions brought her to San Diego, where she attended San Diego City College. She went on to acquire a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and recently found herself miles above the earth’s surface.

Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin, and its staff have been moving ahead with the company’s space technologies, including the New Shepard spacecraft, which sent a crew of six passengers into space. Blue Origin successfully completed its fifth human spaceflight and the New Shepard program’s 21st mission over all. Evan Dick, Hamish Harding, Victor Correa Hespanha, Jaison Robinson, and Victor Vescovo were among the astronauts on the New Shepard mission with Echazarreta. 

Echazarreta was chosen from over 7,000 applications from over 100 nations. Her flight is sponsored by the NGO (non-governmental organization) Space for Humanity.

From thousands of candidates, the non-profit Space for Humanity chose Echazarreta as their first “Citizen Astronaut.” Their objective is to send “exceptional leaders” into space, expecting that the “Overview Effect” will give them a dramatic change of perspective and inspire them to do good for mankind when they return.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital rocket was set to launch on June 7 at 9 a.m. EDT from the company’s West Texas launch pad, some 25 miles from Van Horn. From liftoff until capsule touchdown, each New Shepard mission lasts around 11 minutes.

Following her trip, she discussed the mission in a message aired by Blue Origin, the company that staged the operation.

“If there’s something that you truly, truly want to do, it’s very important not to let those voices around you telling you that you’re not good enough, that you’re not worthy of it, that you’re not going to make it,” said Echazarreta. “If I had listened to at least one of them then I wouldn’t be here about to go to space.”