Mexican designs 3D robots for NASABy Fernanda Duque Hernández
Mexican robot designer found his passion in ancient Mayan culture.
Last year, the United States National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) announced its new project, Mars 2020. According to the agency, it seeks to determine whether the Martian atmosphere is capable of sustaining life. Among the many people working to develop the technology for this mission, one of them is the Mexican-born engineer, Luis Enrique Velasco.
Velasco’s job is to visualize the design of the robots in 3D images before they are built and now he’s actually collaborating with the Mars 2020 automatic rover project.
“This mission is almost a replica of the one we sent earlier (Curiosity)… we call it MSL and it is a scientific laboratory roving on tires,” Velasco told Spanish news agency, Efe.
The group of experts that are working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory use 3D images created by Velasco to simulate and analyze different scenarios. The resulting information is used by the design team to make changes.
Velasco shared that, compared to Curiosity, Mars 2020 will prepare the ground for human exploration on the red planet. He is working on a system that the rover is going to use to collect particles for soil analysis.
The Mexican found his passion at a young age, when he learned about the advances in astronomy and mathematics made by the Mayan civilization.
With the help of some American friends, the young Velasco managed to enroll into Brigham Young University in Utah, where he studied mechanical engineering. According to him, the key to his success is that he holds on tight to his dream: to be an expert in innovative technologies.
“You’ve got to be an expert… I was working on my stuff. NASA was looking for an expert in my field so they just invited me to join the team,” stated Velasco to Mexican news agency Notimex.
At NASA he found that he was not the only Mexican working for the agency. Velasco said that there are so many of his countrymen collaborating in different areas as: mechanical design, engineering, the financial team and more.
Luis Enrique Velasco also said that he dreams of coming back to Mexico, especially to his home state of Chiapas, to share his experience and help youth get into science.
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