In 2015, Yair Piña Lopez, 20, became the youngest scientist to ever work for NASA. Now, the fifth-year physics student from Mexico will be part of the first Mars simulation project this April, El Universal reports.
The two-week mission will take place at the desert in Utah, under severe atmospheric conditions that most closely resemble that of Mars. Piña Lopez is part of a crew of five, and said he’s proud to be representing Mexico on such an important mission.
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“Now that Mexicans need to lean on each other to keep moving forward, I’m full of pride to be able to carry the Mexican flag on such an important project that will make the first mission to Mars possible,” he said.
Piña Lopez joined NASA as a student investigator after designing a method to measure cosmic radiation on space missions. The Mars mission will require him to live with limited electricity, food, oxygen, and water, and the team will have to produce everything they need to survive.
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