Aracely Quispe Neira
, a Peru-born NASA engineer who inspires young Latin Americans to become scientists, has taken on the challenge to work on the James Webb Space Telescope
—the premier observatory that will study every phase in the history of our universe.
Quispe holds an important position in the program. She leads other ground system engineers with the aim of ensuring efficient spacecraft operations.
"The James Webb program is very original. I feel fortunate to be part of it as a Peruvian and female engineer. This is going to be the successor to Hubble Telescope, with improved technology, and will peer back millions of years to learn about the famous Big Bang," she explained proudly.
Nothing was left to luck in her career. The Peruvian scientist has a bachelor's degree in System Engineering (in Peru), and another one in Aerospace Technology Engineering (in the United States).
In addition, she holds a master's degree in Astronautics and pursues one in Geospatial Intelligence, as well as a doctoral degree in Sciences.
Sports —karate in particular— played an important role in her discipline and helped her achieve physical and mental balance. Moreover, it taught her how to win and lose with the determination to try again.
The James Webb Space Telescope
(sometimes called JWST or Webb) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in 2021.
Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of the universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own solar system.