"NASA wants to return to the Moon with astronauts, if they don't arrive in 2024, it will be 2028. Donald Trump is trying to convince Congress to allocate the money needed for the project," said the electronics engineer. Miguel San Martín (60), from Huntsville, Alabama, in a dialogue with Infobae.
"Maybe the enthusiasm of the people in the anniversary celebration of the arrival of Humans on the Moon serves to put pressure on," he said Argentina who worked 35 years ago at NASA's Jet Propulsory Laboratory in Los Angeles.
"The celebration serves to renew hope to return … Because, it's sad that fifty years have passed and we don't go to the Moon again!"Miguel added at a twenty-minute stop between meetings, conferences and dinners.
Born on January 6, 1959 at the family summer farm of Villa Regina, Río Negro, Miguel grew up in the Federal Capital and studied at Pío Nono Industrial College in Almagro. He traveled to the United States in 1977 and received an Honors degree in Electronic Engineering from Syracuse University in 1982. In addition, in 1985 he completed a master's degree in Aviation and Astronautics in the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) . Since then he has worked for NASA and lived in Pasadena, Los Angeles, with Susan, his wife almost 35 years ago. And he has two daughters Samantha (32) and Madelaine (26).
"Now I'm at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. It's one of NASA's centers that specializes in making rockets. Wernher von Braun, a pioneer in war rocket development, that when Germany lost the war was brought to the United States – along with many of its compatriots – and then applied its knowledge in this NASA center. Now I will go to a party at a hotel with German food for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, "said Miguel, who spoke about the Moon with the same enthusiasm when he saw the arrival of Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969, when he was ten years old and from his apartment in Palermo.
-What do you remember about that moment?
-I remember walking well but didn't land, because they didn't pass it. At that time sometimes the link does not leave directly and directly. Satellite doesn't work. I was in my house, on the road to Arenales and Bustamante. It's night. We sat in the daily dining room in front of a black and white TV with my sister and my parents. My parents, who had been traveling in a cloth plane, were fascinated. I remember that it didn't look good at all. The numbers are almost transparent.
-And what do you feel when you witness the arrival of humans on the Moon?
–I'm afraid the last step of the stairs is too high The boy (by Neil Armstrong) went down and I thought: "Now don't go up again". Then I learned that bugs (on the ship) landed on shock absorbers and when they sank, the stairs were lower. But they made it so soft that the stairs were one meter away. And in fact, one of the first things the boy did was jump to see if he could come back. And yes: I can but it's already high. But on the Moon, gravity is lacking. I remember that when they plant flags, That was rather surprising to us, my mother commented: "Well, it's okay, they deserve it." Because we all see it as a milestone in humanity, but those who raise the flag, are them. When I went to bed, it was clear to me that I had just seen something historic. Previously I was interested in space, but after seeing the Coming of Man to the Moon, even more!
-Why do you think we don't return to the Moon?
-Because it's very expensive. This country spends a lot of money on it. This is history, not opinion: they came to the moon to win competition with the Soviet Union. The mission was designed to put a flag, leave a trace and return. But the costs are such that they cannot continue to develop the technology needed to return. So, they played to make a space station by ferry, with the aim of lowering the cost of launches and flights anywhere. But the rocket can't be used anymore and the cost doesn't go down. They don't use the right technology.
-It must be done fundamentally with economic problems …
-Yes, but also people want to go to Mars. And the stick became so high that it could never be picked. One cannot do what John Kennedy did: "In ten years we did it." Politicians love Mars. They promised and were never given. But, a decade later, no one realized that they were not given … Enthusiastic nerds say: "Let's go to Mars." But many of us think: "We won't go anywhere if we continue the idea of Mars!" That's why the idea is to focus on the Moon again. And now you can think about restoring the entire rocket to use it again.
-Why is that possible now if not for 50 years?
–Costs go down because everything is made under the same roof, Like Ford did with a car, and it made them cheaper. Too, Amazon's son (referring to Jeff Bezos) spends millions of dollars a year from his pocket so we can return to the Moon. The idea was that eventually the cost of the rocket dropped, although it was very expensive what NASA did for manned parts. The aim is to return to the Moon, but to stay.
-Yes, go with a renewable infrastructure, after an investment that makes it possible to maintain it. That will be 20 billion dollars in four years. And another problem that changed the landscape was that there was water on the Moon. Then, you can make fuel and not take it from here, which is very expensive. The key is we look at the moon with a new perspective. Which from the 60s will no longer function.
-Because today there are new players like Elon Musk, with its Falcon Heavy company from SpaceX, and & # 39; the Jeff Bezos & # 39;, Which put pressure on the entire aerospace industry. Too, There is China, ready to challenge the United States, which wants to put people on the Moon at the end of the next decade. They are building giant rockets. They are the new Soviet Union.
-And what did you do today at the Marshall Space Flight Center?
-I'm coming for two reasons. The main ones: participate in an advisory panel of several children who work on rockets in projects that are not one hundred percent approved: Return of Mars Samples. Because next year, a ship will go to Mars to take samples, but it will take it, put it in a tachito and leave it on the surface. The idea of a Mars Sample Return mission is to send other explorers down, search for tachitos and place them in rockets that will leave them in orbit, so that a spaceship – maybe Europe – will take them and bring them to Earth. Today I finished the last conversation. But also, tomorrow I meet with children who are working on their return mission to the Moon in 2024. With them I have had several meetings through a teleconference, finally we will meet in person. In other words, I came to Alabama for Mars, but I would use it to meet me on the Moon. Anyway, that's the problem …