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Think Big: From Patagonia to NASA

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Four students from Rio Black and Neuquén traveled to NASA's Space Camp. We tell you their experience.


Who never dreamed of being an astronaut? Four high school students from Rio Black and Neuquén were able to fulfill their dream. They were awarded scholarships by the US Embassy to attend the Space Camp itself, the NASA Space Center. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, Space Camp is the famous place where flesh and blood astronauts train. The young people were selected together with 50 winners from a process of almost 900 applicants.

The selection

The fellowship program was held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing of Apollo 11. The selection of applicants was carried out for 3 weeks. The academic performance, level of English and interest in science of young people aged 15 to 17 years were evaluated. To get scholarships, they had to write three essays in English and upload a one-minute video to YouTube. Neuquén and Río Black had four representatives among the 50 fellows from all over the country. Tomás Fuentes de Cipolletti and Sofía Ezcurra de Fernández Oro were the two Rionegrins who participated in the experience space. Nicolás Ceballos Bravo and Miqueas Cañete were selected by the province of Neuquén. Students from Neuquén and Río Black joined others from Comodoro Rivadavia, Trelew, Trevelin and Ushuaia.

The experience of being an astronaut

The program was developed over five days. During these, the Argentine fellows did what NASAscientists do. They used simulators with gravity chairs and neutral float and built a thermal shield. They even designed and launched a rocket! In addition, they experienced the training of astronauts in their own flesh. It all culminated in a simulation of a long-lived space mission. For Sofia Ezcurra, this was one of the things that excited her most. “The simulacrum of pretending to travel to Mars and how to build rockets.” On the other hand, Tomás Fuentes thinks big. He revealed that what he sought in this experience is to have more knowledge. “It will give me the experience and then develop local software for NASA in the future,” he concluded.

Source: Wind South

Publication Date: 19/01/2020

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