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A southerner between NASA and Mars

His name is Miguel San Martín and he is rionegrino. He's been working for NASA for 30 years and he's still dreaming of nailing a flag on Mars.

Argentines around the world

Miguel San Martín  was born in Villa Regina  (Río Negro province). He fell in love with the sky and space looking from the barquera of the rionegrina chakra where he lived with his family. He attended high school in  Buenos Aires  and, once he graduated, traveled to the  United States  for an English course.  working  at NASA!

 Example of struggle and perseverance 

Those who know him say that this rionegrino  is an example of effort, conviction and passion . Getting to where he is today was not an easy task; he had several falls along the way.

At only 19 years old he emigrated to the United States alone.  He had traveled with the aim of staying there for 6 months to take an English course, but he was excited about the idea of staying and starting his university studies in that country.

The first baldazo of cold water had it when he  was refused to enter Cornell University in New York.  With some nostalgia, he recalls that, in those times, he did not handle English very well and it was difficult for him to fill out the forms.  The language barrier was the big obstacle  in those early student years.

Finally, he did not end his adventure in that country and  decided to try his luck at the University of Syracuse . The rionegrino remembers that he arrived in the city by micro without knowing that he would stay there for several years. Once there, he directly asked for a meeting with a head of admissions, whom  he managed to impress with his notes and studies of calculation, physics and electronics . Admission and its passage through that institution opened the doors to the best universities in the world.

With perseverance, he managed to receive himself as  an engineer in four years . She then moved to  Cambridge  (Massachusetts) to study a  Master's Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics  at the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  .

 His arrival at NASA and his heart set on Mars 

 At the age of 26 she fulfilled her dream of getting a  job  at NASA  and never left again.  He participated in four space missions  and fell in love with the mystery of Mars. He was part of the  Mars Pathfinder  (1997) missions as Head of Engineering,  Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit  and  Opportunity  (2004) and  Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity  (2012). He was also an advisor on the Topex, Mars Polar Lander, Deep Impact and Phoenix missions.

Recognized worldwide with  several awards  for his participation in the development of control systems for exploration vehicles, San Martin today lives in San Gabriel (California) alongside his wife and two American daughters. This 2020  is preparing his next mission to Mars  and recommends “follow dreams, not lose faith and work hard.” According to their own experience,  things do not go through magic , depend on each and  require effort and perseverance .

Publication Date: 17/08/2020

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