El Mes de la Herencia Hispana y el compromiso de la NASA con la diversidad, la equidad y la inclusión

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En toda la agencia, la NASA se enorgullece de conmemorar el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, la celebración anual que rinde homenaje a las culturas y contribuciones de los hispanos y latinoamericanos, del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre.

Como mencioné a nuestro equipo en un mensaje interno de ayer para honrar el inicio del Mes de la Herencia Hispana, el tema de este año es Esperanza: una celebración de la herencia y la esperanza hispanas. Todos estamos invitados a celebrar los innumerables y duraderos impactos que los hispanos y latinos han tenido en la NASA y más allá: como científicos e ingenieros pioneros que dan impulso a nuestra innovación y tecnologías, emprendedores que propulsan nuestra economía, defensores del cambio político y social, y creativos que dan vida a nuestras artes y humanidades. Los animo a participar en las muchas ceremonias, actividades y programas en sus comunidades que se ofrecen este mes en honor al Mes de la Herencia Hispana.

El legado de los trabajadores hispanos y latinos de la NASA es excepcional. Mi ex compañero de tripulación y buen amigo, Franklin Chang Díaz, se convirtió en el primer astronauta hispano, así como el primer astronauta de ascendencia costarricense cuando la NASA lo seleccionó en 1980.

En la actualidad, Diana Trujillo del Laboratorio de Propulsión a Chorro en California se desempeña como supervisora del grupo técnico para la planificación y ejecución de secuencias y líder táctica para la misión Mars Perseverance. Zaida Hernández es gerente de subsistema de los sistemas de protección térmica para el módulo de servicio y sistema de aborto de lanzamiento de Orion, e ingeniera térmica para la misión VIPER de la NASA en Centro Espacial Johnson en Houston. Y Javier Ocasio-Pérez se desempeña como gerente de pruebas e integración de la misión de Demostración de relés de comunicaciones láser en el Centro de Vuelo Espacial Goddard en Maryland, solo por nombrar algunos de nuestros profesionales hispanos.

Pueden obtener más información sobre algunos de nuestro increíbles trabajadores siguiendo nuestra segunda temporada de Hispan@s de la NASA, una serie de retratos íntimos en video y perfiles escritos de profesionales hispanos de la NASA que hablan sobre sus trayectorias profesionales. Todos los videos estarán en español con subtítulos en inglés.

La NASA también está expandiendo las comunicaciones en español. Pueden seguirnos en línea a través de TwitterFacebookInstagram y YouTube.

En reconocimiento a todos los hispanos que contribuyen a la NASA y al crecimiento de nuestra nación, gracias por todo el trabajo crítico que realizan para la NASA, los Estados Unidos y el mundo.

¡Adelante y hacia arriba!

Hispanic Heritage Month and NASA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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Across the agency, NASA is proud to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month – the annual observance honoring the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans – running Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

As I noted to our team in our internal message yesterday to honor the kickoff of Hispanic Heritage Month, the theme for this year is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. We’re all invited celebrate the countless and enduring impacts Hispanics and Latinos have made at NASA and beyond, as pioneering scientists and engineers driving our innovation and technology, entrepreneurs energizing our economy, advocates leading social and political change, and creatives bringing to life our arts and humanities. I encourage you to participate in the many ceremonies, activities, and programs in your communities offered this month in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. 

 The legacy of NASA’s Hispanic and Latino workforce is exceptional. My former crewmate and good friend, Franklin Chang Diaz, became the first Hispanic astronaut and first astronaut of Costa Rican descent when NASA selected him in 1980.  

 Today, Diana Trujillo at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, serves Technical Group Supervisor for Sequence Planning and Execution and a Tactical Mission Lead for the Mars Perseverance rover. Zaida Hernandez is a Thermal Protection Systems subsystem manager for Orion Launch Abort System and Service Module and a thermal engineer for NASA’s VIPER mission at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. And Javier Ocasio-Perez serves as a Laser Communication Relay Demonstration Mission Integration and Test manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, just to name a few. 

You can find out more about some of our incredible staff by following along with our second season of Hispan@s de la NASA, a series of intimate video portraits and profiles of NASA Hispanic professionals talking about their career paths. All the videos will be in Spanish with English captions.

NASA also is expanding our Spanish-language communications. You can follow us online through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

In recognition of all the Hispanics contributing to NASA and the growth of our nation, thank you for all the critical work you do for NASA, the United States, and the world.  

 Adelante y hacia arriba… Onward and upward!  

Ramping Up Humanity’s Return to the Moon

Hello, everyone!

I’m excited to launch this blog to keep you informed of all the incredible things we’re working on at NASA, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where virtual has become many of our new normal.

Safety of the NASA workforce has remained our top priority throughout these challenging times. Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, and I are immensely proud of our NASA family.

This agency has a long history of success in aviation, technology, human and robotic exploration. This year alone, it’s incredible what we’ve achieved with Perseverance, Ingenuity, commercial crew, sustainable aviation, and Artemis.

NASA kicked off a new initiative to expand and modify agency activities to remove barriers and challenges facing historically underrepresented and underserved communities. We’re also focusing our efforts in STEM engagement and other key areas critical to our nation, including helping tackle the climate emergency and advancing technologies that will benefit us here on Earth and farther into the solar system.

While we have maintained critical operations throughout the pandemic, we’re starting to see more and more of effects catchup with NASA and our partners. We know how dedicated our teams are because we’ve seen their perseverance tested time and time again. I anticipate the coming years will be no different – there’s so much ahead for the agency and our nation, especially with Artemis.

Now almost 50 years since our last Apollo mission, we’re preparing to return astronauts to the Moon. Once again, our crews will launch from Kennedy, and our Artemis astronauts will boldly explore more of the lunar surface than ever before, beginning with the lunar South Pole.

Teams at Kennedy are busy finalizing integration of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I flight test. We’re still eying their first launch by the end of the year. However, our crews on the ground are contending with rising COVID cases in Florida, weather, and first-time operations challenges, so we’ll have a better sense of timing after stacking operations are complete next month. This first uncrewed mission is close and it will set the stage for all Artemis missions to come.

Teams with NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and contractor Jacobs prepare to integrate the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the massive SLS core stage on the mobile launcher in the agency’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 22, 2021.

Our long-term lunar vision calls for so much on and around the Moon this decade – and we’re not doing it alone. Together with our commercial and international partners we’ll turn science fiction into reality when we setup the Artemis Base Camp on the surface and Gateway in lunar orbit.

Of course, the key connection between orbital and surface operations will be modern commercial human landing systems (HLS). We’ve already made an award for an uncrewed and crewed demonstration landing mission under Option A contract for HLS. While there is a stay of performance for as late as Nov. 8 on that contract, our broader efforts to work with American companies on landers for Artemis missions is moving forward.

NASA announced today it has selected five companies to mature lander design concepts that will help minimize design risks and advance new technologies while we gain critical insight toward a sustainable lunar architecture. The companies are Blue Origin, Dynetics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and SpaceX.

With this accelerated effort to focus our work on HLS concepts and risk reduction solutions this year, we’re priming industry to submit their proposals for regular crewed lunar transportation services next year. Those services, which call for carrying crew in a lander from Gateway in orbit to the lunar surface and back, are slated to begin in the late 2020s.

As we’ve done in low-Earth orbit with commercial crew and cargo, our goal is to be one of many customers in a rapidly growing lunar economy. Our cycle of development to operations is a success aboard the International Space Station. We’re seeing that model taking shape now at the Moon. And much of what we accomplish 240,000 miles from Earth will get us ready for our next giant leap – sending American astronauts to Mars.

It’s an honor to serve as Administrator in these extraordinary times. The years ahead will be tough – but inspiring and very, very rewarding. I hope you continue to follow NASA as we push the boundaries of human exploration farther into the solar system. And until we can shake hands, fist bump or whatever the new normal becomes after the pandemic, I hope you’ll follow along here, too.