Rosa Ávalos-Warren, from selling figs on the streets of Peru to working at NASA
Rosa Ávalos-Warren is an example of improvement for all Latin Americans. She was born in Lima, Peru, at an early age she sold figs in Chilca, Cañete, to help her family: today he is one of the figures of NASA’s Artemis Program.
“We are preparing to support the next generation of explorers so that when we send the first woman and the first person of color to the Moon, they can have access to communication resources, making sure they are always connected to Earth” , he said in an interview with the agency.
The arrival of the Peruvian to NASA and her work, essential in the Artemis Program
Ávalos-Warren immigrated to the United States with his family, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University.
On February 1, 2003, Ávalos-Warren witnessed on television the space shuttle Columbia accident, where all seven crew members perished.
“It was one of the first images that connected me to aerospace engineering,” he told the agency. “At the time I was waiting for his return, unfortunately, there was a tragedy and we lost seven astronauts.”
“I realized that I wanted to work for NASA, to be one of the people to help make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
As manned spaceflight mission manager, Ávalos-Warren’s job is to manage the global network of ground stations and relay satellites, in order for astronauts to stay in contact with Earth.
Since 2009, the Peruvian has led more than 20 NASA missions, including that of SpaceX for the first manned flight, in May 2020.
NASA’s recognition of Rosa Ávalos-Warren
And that trajectory made her worthy, last March, of the Silver Snoopy Award, a recognition from NASA for seniority and achievement. This is a pin of Snoopy, a character created by Charles Schulz: a doll of the puppy is carried as a tradition in each space trip.
At that time, the United States Embassy in Peru stated: “The Silver Snoopy Award recognizes the professionalism, dedication and support provided to enhance spaceflight safety and mission success.
Ávalos-Warren wants to continue being an example for girls, young people and women who want to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“How nice it would be,” says the Peruvian in an interview with the newspaper La Prensa, “That other people who are reading my story can be inspired to achieve their goals and can come to fruition, going further than me.”