Photo: Mexico Preparing to Launch Its Own Space Program
As NASA welcomes back its last space shuttle, Atlantis, Mexico and other countries are looking to begin space programs of their own.
“I think it’s a great thing, it’s a great opportunity. We’d like to open up space exploration to the entire world population,” said Allen Pointdexter, a 13-year astronaut now working for the Naval Postgraduate School. He noted that a space program for Mexico could really boost the country’s economy, and push for an advancement of education.
“Human space flight has always inspired young kids. It certainly inspires today’s school children to learn more and study science, technology, engineering and math.”
The director of sciences at Hartnell, Andy Newton agrees, saying, “If you have a new young workforce and new generation of scientists and engineers, then research will drive industry behind it and hopefully there will be more high tech industry coming out of Mexico.”
So far, legislators have set aside $700,000 for the Mexican space agency in next year’s budget, though the program has yet to be officially established.