Over the Gulf of Mexico, two Costa Rican scientists experienced yesterday the feeling of floating weightless. Aboard a modified aircraft, type Boeing 727 , Sergio Cortez and Marco Gomez took off from Ellington Field Air Base, near the Johnson Space Center of NASA in Houston and several times rose to 9,000 meters.
Gomez Cortes carried the tricolor in his suit, since both work at Ad Astra Rocket, founded by physicist Franklin Chang Costa Rica, whose main objective is to build a plasma engine to serve, inter alia, to tow satellites space or travel to Mars.
Cortez is an electromechanical engineer graduate of the University of the Americas International (UIA). He was born in Bogota, Colombia, Costa Rica but is nationalized. Work in Ad Astra from the start of the subsidiary in Liberia, in July 2006.
Meanwhile, Josephine Gomez is a graduate aerospace engineer at the University of Georgia, USA. Work in Ad Astra from 2011.
According to an official statement issued yesterday by the company, this flight is part of a cooperation project between the U.S. space agency NASA and Ad Astra company with which it is intended to test both develop space technology.
Yesterday, Costa Ricans were devoted to an experiment of heat transfer in microgravity.
This exercise aims to assess the design of the cooling system called VASIMR plasma engine.
Recall that in this technology is vital to ensure that none of the engine components are affected by the high temperature plasma.
“We are very proud of all the Ad Astra team and, in particular, Sergio and Marco who have performed brilliantly in the preparations for this mission. They represent the pride of Costa Rica, “Franklin Chang said yesterday in an official release.
Scientists were also very excited. “The experiments in microgravity represent the duality of the scientist, not only to formulate theories in the laboratory, but also testing them in extreme environments,” said Gomez.
“This experience is something I had longed for many years and hope to encourage many young people to begin to dream big and realize that it is not impossible, just have to try,” he said Cortez.
This is the second time that Team Costa Rican company involved in these flights Chang. Last year, the engineers did Oguilve Jorge and Juan Ignacio del Valle.
Three more flights are planned this week with the participation of five scientists from Ad Astra, including the two Costa Ricans.