Ad Astra! (To the Stars!)
This week UPAEP, and indeed all of Mexico, celebrated a giant leap forward in technology. Years of work that begin with the launching of an aerospace engineering degree came to joyful fruition in the launch of the first all-Mexican nanosatellite – the AzTechSat-1 CubeSat.   With ample support from NASA and the Mexican Space Agency, AEM, the project went through rigorous revision phases, verifying each step of the process until a space-ready device was finally approved.  The satellite was launched into orbit on the SpaceX CRS 19 Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on December 5, 2019.  This week, on February 19 at 6:55 am local time, AzTechSat-1 was launched from the ISS into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). After waiting 40 minutes to be at a safe distance from the ISS the satellite deployed its antennas and began its startup processes. Soon after, the first signals were received both by the Globalstar constellation of satellites and by ground stations and amateur radio operators. This resounding success has managed to meet all the mission objectives and even the extended objectives which have been placed upon the project!
While we are always proud to wear that UPAEP red and sing loudly the school fight song “Alerombo”, this week, in particular, there’s been a swelling of incredible pride in the people that have made this dream of touching space and the stars a tangible reality!
As with any technological innovation, this project required an intense amount of collaboration from a very diverse group of people and skillsets.  From the mentors at NASA that helped guide and shape the project’s objectives and space readiness reviews, the professors that supervised the student teams, the dedicated undergraduate and graduate students from a wide array of disciplines that worked tirelessly to meet the mission objectives, the collaborating institutions in Mexico (AEM, CONACYT, UACH, CONCYTEP, Gobierno de Puebla, INAOE), to the amazing media team that helped spread the message far and wide – this project exemplifies one of the things in which UPAEP has had the blessing to show great strength and leadership in this country: interdisciplinary work with a focus on transformational leadership.
What began as a dream was turned into reality through the hard work, dedication, creativity, inventiveness, leadership, tirelessness, and focus of the many different people from all walks of life that came together under the umbrella of this shared vision. In a country where all too frequently intense institutional competition, requirements to focus on specific lines of research, very limited funding, and other similar pressures have often led to a splintering, fracturing, siloing and segmentation of work – AzTechSat-1 shines like a beacon that points the way to the Mexico we need to build.
An entire generation in the 1950s-1970s was inspired by the global space race. Now a new generation of young people all over the world - and especially Mexico and Latin America – will be inspired by this story and the many more to come. More people will consider STEM careers, artists will find ways to tell these stories in new and moving ways, new collaborations will yield greater and more creative results.
As Mexico faces a crisis in innovation   , as the workforce has had to become the hardest working people in the OECD while maintaining the lowest salaries  , as the world and politics have become more polarized by the minute , a beacon of hope, inspiration, and transformation is flying above us. Just as Sputnik's famous beep ushered in a new era in humanity's development, we hope and believe that we can tune in to the AzTechSat-1 beacon and find that same transformational hope again.
The first call to action in this transformation has been answered!
Ad Astra Mexico!
Ad Astra UPAEP!
Ad Astra AzTechSat-1!
Today, a tiny box 10 cm each side beams back the answer to that call for the world to hear. This is the first whisper into the void, that first call out in lonely space – but it will not be the last.
What will you do to answer this call? How will you bring your time, talent, and leadership to bear? How will your own work echo through time?
The world is waiting, the call is out:
Referencias / ReferencesJuan Méndez, "EL AZTECHSAT-1 UPAEP, NANOSATÉLITE MEXICANO, INICIA SU MISIÓN EN EL ESPACIO," UPAEP, Puebla, 2020. [Online].
 Fernanda Bretón, "PEQUEÑO GIGANTE UPAEP CONQUISTA EL ESPACIO," UPAEP, Puebla, 2020. [Online].
 Juan Méndez, "EL NANOSATÉLITE AZTECHSAT-1 UPAEP APRUEBA LA REVISIÓN DE DISEÑO CRÍTICO DELTA DE LA NASA," UPAEP, Puebla, 2019. [Online].
 Hugo Quintero, "EL AZTECHSAT-1 YA ESTÁ EN LA ESTACIÓN ESPACIAL INTERNACIONAL," UPAEP, Puebla,. [Online].
 UPAEP AzTechSat. (2020, Feb.) AzTechSat-1. [Online].
 Juan Manuel López Oglesby, "Innovation in Crisis - Challenges and Opportunities part 1," Graduate School, UPAEP, Puebla, Science Strategy Position Paper 2019. [Online].
 Juan Manuel López Oglesby, "Innovation in Crisis - Challenges and Opportunities part 2," Graduate School, UPAEP, Puebla, Science Strategy Position Paper 2019. [Online].
 Juan Manuel López Ogleby, "Innovation in Crisis - Challenges and Opportunities part 3," UPAEP, Puebla, Science Strategy Position Paper 2019. [Online].
 OECD, "Hours Worked (indicator)," Indicator 2019.
 THOMAS CAROTHERS and ANDREW O’DONOHUE, "How to Understand the Global Spread of Political Polarization," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Interview 2019. [Online].
Dr. Juan Manuel López Oglesby
Mtro. Charles Galindo, Jr.
Mtra. Erika del Carmen Sevilla García
Dr. Alfredo Toriz Palacios
Dr. Luis Rosales Roldán