Culture

NASA Just Can’t Get Enough Of This Mexican Scientist

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has created another international sensation, Yair Israel Piña López. He is the youngest student-researcher recruit by NASA at just 20 years old, and it seems like he is doing exactly what he should be doing.

This is Yair Israel Piña López, and he is a physics major at UNAM.

Yair Israel Piña López / Facebook
CREDIT: Yair Israel Piña López / Facebook

According to López’s website, he is a fifth-year student working “in the Irradiation Unit and Radiation Safety at Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares (Institute of Nuclear Science ICN).”

López’s research on thermoluminescence is what has landed him on the map.

Best Gifts Ever! #Nasa #NASABoys #SpaceFriends

A photo posted by Yair Israel Piña López (@yairpinalopez) on


López’s research into gamma radiation and its effects is what caught NASA’s attention. López has been working with Dr. Epifanio Cruz Zaragoza, compiling the information into a research article that has been even been published by the “Journal Of Physics.”

“That’s why NASA uses our article as a reference in future missions, which are to the Moon and Mars, and is indexed in the Astrophysical Data System,” López told Excelsior.

This research will be crucial in studying and determining how radiation can impact astronauts while in space.

Yair Israel Piña López / Facebook
CREDIT: Yair Israel Piña López / Facebook

According to Forbes Mexico, López has proposed an active detector to read for several kinds of radiation including natural uranium and strontium. This detector would essentially become the first line of defense if radiation levels start to impact the health and well being of astronauts while the float about space.

This is López’s second run in with NASA since he participated in their Orlan program in Russia.

I'm in Orlan Space Suit – Орлан #SeaEagle #SpaceSuit #Orlan #SpaceGentleman #Space #Russia #AdAstra #Орлан

A photo posted by Yair Israel Piña López (@yairpinalopez) on


While at the University of Samara in Russia, López helped with creating a part for a satellite to help with observing Russia.

Keep up the good work, Yair. You are definitely going places.

Desayunito #fciencias #bestactuary #lamasguapa #devastado #físico #BFFos

A photo posted by Yair Israel Piña López (@yairpinalopez) on


READ: This 9-Year-Old Mexican is Studying Chemistry in College, and He’s Rocking It

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Mexico Wants To Be The Hub Of Latin America’s Space Industry And This Is Their Incredible Plan

Things That Matter

Mexico Wants To Be The Hub Of Latin America’s Space Industry And This Is Their Incredible Plan

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Getty

Although the world is still struggling with how best to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, many governments are forging ahead with long term goals and development programs.

One of the most important to new programs to launch in Mexico is central to its economic and scientific future – its future in space. Together with other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (some of which already have their own independent agencies), Mexico is looking to become the leader in the region when it comes to space research and exploration.

The country recently announced its intentions for just such an agency, that they hope would be based in Mexico with foreign capital providing the seed money to get the project off the ground.

Mexico announced its intention to head up a Latin American and Caribbean space agency.

Mexico has launched an ambitious new project – creating a Latin American Space and Caribbean Space Agency that would facilitate the sharing of satellite images and aims to observe the planet. The agency would be dedicated to earth observation, satellite image sharing and multi-sector dialogue.

The project was presented by Javier López Casarín, Honorary President of the Technical Council of Knowledge and Innovation of the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AMEXCID). López Casarín attended the meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), where he presented the project for the creation of the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency, an entity that will be at the same level as other agencies (think NASA and the European Space Agency) of world space research with which it hopes to exchange information.

As part of the same meeting, the Latin American coordinators highlighted the role of Mexico in charge of the presidency of the community of Latin American states and appreciated the proposal to create a joint space agency.

Mexico has had a space agency of its own since 2010 but they’re looking to expand the operations.

Mexico has had its own space agency, the Agencia Espacial Mexicana, since 2010. Plus, several other countries across Latin America and the Caribbean have their own similar departments that over see satellites, information gathering, meteorological date, etc.

Mexico’s space agency has been tasked with carrying out study programs, research, and academic support, however, its duties have never included the aim of space exploration with its own infrastructure.

One of the agency’s key objectives is to help increase internet connectivity across the region.

In 2019, the Agencia Espacial Mexicana announced it was developing its space program around the needs of Mexican society – that it would be for the social benefit.

Among other techonoligcal solutions, the government has made it a core principle to help expand access to Internet across the country. By merging various space agencies into one, this increased Internet connectivity will likely spread to other countries in Latin America.

Internet connectivity rates vary from around 27% in El Salvador to close to 80% in Brazil – so bringing that wide gap is seen as critical for sustained development in the region.

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A Mexicana Just Broke A World Record By Making The Fastest Ascent Of The Earth’s Three Highest Mountains

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A Mexicana Just Broke A World Record By Making The Fastest Ascent Of The Earth’s Three Highest Mountains

Joe Mitchell / Getty

Mexican climber Viridiana Álvarez Chávez, might just one of the few people in the world to know what it feels like to actually be on top of the world.

Recently, the climber managed to scale three of the world’s highest peaks to break the Guinness World Records title. And she did it all in under just two years.

Incredibly, Viridiana climbed to the top of the three highest mountains in a year and 364 days.

According to the Guinness World Records, Viridiana’s quest to break the record started on May 16, 2017, with Everest (8,848 meters; 29,029 feet high), followed by K2 (8,611 meters; 28,251 feet) on July 21, 2018, and ended at Kangchenjunga (8,856 meters; 28,169 feet) on May 15, 2019.

Viridiana is the first Latin American to climb K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. To celebrate her amazing accomplishments, Viridiana was honored with a remote ceremony in which Raquel Assis, the Senior Manager of Guinness World Records Latin America Records Management Team, also attended.

Speaking about her accomplishments, Assis congratulated Virdiana saying “We continue to inspire the world through our record holders. Records motivate people to recognize their potential and look at the world differently.”

Before Viridiana, the Guinness World Records title was held by South Korean climber Go Mi-Sun who climbed the three mountains in two years and two days.

Viridiana says her next mission is to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world which would make her the first North American to do so.

Besides being a climber, Viridiana is a public speaker who encourages young people to break standards. Her talks emphasize the importance of accomplishing goals through emotional intelligence, positivity, discipline, and consistency.

“My career as a mountaineer started with an unusual and inspirational purpose: a simple personal challenge to exercise, but I ended up giving up my office job; risking comfort to experience the magic of the mountains, Viridiana told Guinness Book of World Records. “It was proof that dreams do not have to be lifelong dreams and that anyone who sets them can achieve even what are considered ‘unattainable goals,’ such as breaking a world record.”

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