First Mexican Woman in Space Katya Echazarreta Foresees a Surge in Her Country’s Aerospace Sector

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Katya Echazarreta holds the distinction of being the first female astronaut of Mexican birth. In June 2022, she embarked on a suborbital journey aboard the Blue Origin NS-21, soaring to an altitude of 106 km and setting the record as the youngest American to traverse the cosmic frontier. Originally hailing from Guadalajara, she relocated to the U.S. at the tender age of seven.


Echazarreta has ardently championed the expansion of Mexico’s aerospace sector, and alongside the associates she has garnered on this journey, has successfully spotlighted the country on the global stage.

Being a Mexican astronaut, she holds a steadfast belief that within the forthcoming three decades, Mexico will ascend to a notable stature in the international domain. This optimism is fostered by the ongoing efforts within the nation and a climate where nearshoring is enhancing Mexico’s appeal.

“With the support of the government, the public, companies and with the international support of agencies in other countries, I believe that in the next 15 years, we can achieve something at an international level, something that for many Mexicans is still science fiction,” she said in an interview with Forbes Mexico.

Yet, Echazarreta acknowledges the nation’s progress hinges on its resolve to advance and back its aerospace sector, given the past missed opportunities in its history.

“A correct decision to fully support these space investments could have changed its history, moments like the beginnings of the Morelos satellites and that first mission with astronaut (Rodolfo) Neri Vela who travelled with NASA for this Mexican mission,” she said.


With the space reform gaining approval in the Chamber of Deputies earlier this year, and now only awaiting the nod from the Senate, Echazarreta is optimistic about sparking the intrigue of industry enterprises. She anticipates swift recognition from numerous space companies, be it from the United States or Europe, eyeing Mexico as a new frontier.

“With the official approval of the space reform, what we are going to see are several things. First, more companies that were already dedicated to aeronautics will begin to dedicate themselves a little more to space, something that some of these companies were beginning to do, but not with activities in Mexico, but with activities in other countries,” she said.

In the near future, Echazarreta aims to expand her Space Foundation Katya Echazarreta further. Through this foundation, she aspires to foster the ambitions of Mexican and broader Latin talent yearning to contribute to the space industry within their homeland.

Featured image: Credit: Fernando Luna Arce.

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