Carlos Noriega: The Story of the First Peruvian in Space with NASA

In 1997, a Peruvian defied expectations and traveled into space, carrying with him not only the flag of Peru, but also the hope of a country. (Andean)

Everyone has days to remember. Peru Because of the importance of the event that took place that day. The best example of that is May 15, 1997, recorded in our history as Space Victory Day.

On that date, our countryman Carlos Noriega JimenezThe man who dreamed of the stars since childhood became the first Peruvian to go into space in a spaceship. NASA. Millions of people around the world witnessed the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis, a milestone in the space race. And this is his story.

Noriega’s story transcends borders and proves that with determination, space dreams can be achieved even from the south of the continent. (AFP)

This man from Lima was born on October 8, 1959 and always dreamed of reaching for the stars from a young age. His fascination with space exploration was ignited at the age of 10, when he witnessed the historic moon landing he led along with the rest of the world. Neil Armstrong.

After graduating from Wilcox High School in California in 1977, Noriega followed his passion for aviation and joined the United States Navy, where he graduated in 1981 with a degree in computer science. His dedication and skill led him to the rank of lieutenant and professionalization. Piloting helicopters.

He entered NASA In 1994, after surpassing more than 3,000 applicants. His outstanding performance allowed him to train in repair and space robotics.

A Peruvian contribution to international work on the MIR station highlights the importance of diversity and global cooperation in space exploration. (AFP)

In May 1996, Noriega was selected as an expert in space travel. On May 15, 1997, becoming the first Peruvian to go into space aboard the NASA space shuttle Atlantis. She was part of the STS-84 mission, acting as a flight attendant, providing support to the pilots on the ship’s controls and systems.

Along with a French astronaut, four Americans and a Russian cosmonaut, Noriega left the Florida space station with the intention of joining the Russian MIR station. During its time in orbit, it moved nearly 4 tons of supplies and experimental equipment from the spacecraft to the Russian space station.

Showing his pride in the country of his birth, Noriega brought it with him A Peruvian flag, a tumi and wrappers of chicha morada Powder to share with your employees.

Noriega’s mission to build the International Space Station is a benchmark for future space exploration missions. (AFP)

After his historic flight, Noriega returned to space aboard the space shuttle Endeavor in 2000, participating in its assembly. International Space Station 10 days, 19 hours and 57 minutes during a mission.

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In 2004, he was slated to serve as alternate commander for the sixth mission to the International Space Station and as a crew member for the STS-121 mission, but a medical issue forced him to give up that opportunity. On the ground, he continued his career at NASA, serving as chief of exploration engineering systems Johnson Space Center.

He was an astronaut in 2005 and decided to retire from NASA in 2011, serving in his last position as director of interplanetary safety and quality assurance at the Johnson Space Center.

In 2014, he returned to Peru to participate in educational programs, promoting science, technology and engineering. He currently lives in Houston, Texas, where he works in the hydrocarbon industry and enjoys his family life with his wife. Wendy L. Thatcher and his five children.

Not only did Noriega share chicha morada with international astronauts, but he also shared rich Peruvian culture with each space mission. (US Embassy in Peru)

Carlos Noriega He was not alone in his space achievement. He joins seven other Latin Americans who have conquered space as astronauts or astronauts representing Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba and Ecuador.

Noriega’s legacy continues to inspire future generationsProving that dreams can become reality, even beyond Earth’s atmosphere, when pursued with passion and dedication.

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