Technology

“It is a pity that there are not more astronauts in Spain who can inspire the little ones and make them carry on that business”

Starting next fall, if the plans finally come true, we’ll be a little closer to discovering the universe’s deepest secrets thanks to the James Webb International Space Telescope, Largest and most powerful observatory ever sent by humans into space,



as an heir Hubble Space Telescope is touted to be the next great space science observatory, as it is designed to answer pending questions about the universe Make unprecedented discoveries in all fields of astronomy,

Behind such work is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the three heavyweights when it comes to the study of the universe. You Arianespace is there to make it possible for Webb to touch the starsFrench commercial space transportation company.

To learn a little more about how the telescope will reach space, we’ve interviewed Beatriz Romero, aeronautical engineer and project manager of James Webb Launch Services at Arianespace.

How can you lead the launch of a piece of technology that could change the course of astronomy?


James Webb Space Telescope

I studied aeronautical engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and from the very beginning I orientated myself to the world of space, because I belong to the generation of young people who chose cosmonaut Pedro Duque for it. european space agency And I had a dream that one day I could be like him, be an astronaut. I finally focused my career on what was going to help launch those astronauts into space.,

I specialized in aircraft and started working in a group at university that developed mini-satellites. I chose the development of a satellite of this type as my final degree project and executed it while doing something like Practice with National Institute of Aerospace TechnologyThe most specialized Spanish unit in aeronautical technology.

Being in those exercises gave me the opportunity to meet the team that was First Spanish satellite working on MinisatAnd he taught me a lot. That’s where I really started getting into the world of satellites and space.

When I finished my degree, they hired me, Spanish communications satellite operator, and I entered as a platform engineer, that is, everything that a satellite carries with no payload. I then went through Galileo, a company that brought together companies from the Spanish space sector.

Ariane Rocket

  • The Ariane rocket was first launched in 1979 and is today, according to the ESA, “a cornerstone of Europe’s free access to space.”

then finally I started working at Arianespace in 2007 As head of satellite feasibility projects, already on the James Webb Telescope project. I was initially in the contamination zone, as this is a very sensitive telescope to contamination. In 2010 I became Project Manager for James Webb.

14 years is a long time, and yet we still have the web on the ground. Why so many problems and delays in its launch?

The Webb telescope is a project that is evolving and as we move forward such things come up again and so we have to adapt to solve them. Project delays are sometimes due to technical issues, but also due to financial problems.Especially in the 2014 to 2018 phase.

The project is impressive from a technical point of view. The way it’s going to appear in space is amazing. In general it is a continuous and always interesting work in which we never stop learning,

And what exactly is involved in that job?

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  • The telescope will launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. Webb will begin a month-long journey in an orbit around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system in its final orbit, about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. , L2.

My main task is to coordinate and manage resources as well as being a point of contact in Arianespace. My role is to have everyone in the orchestra play at the same time,

Arianespace is the operator of the Webb Telescope Launcher, We take care of launch services, In the case of this project, the transport would be the Ariane 5 rocket.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that there is consistency between what the client needs, the agencies behind the web, in terms of what, and the launchers, in terms of what Arianespace offers.

Has it become difficult to get a foothold in the aeronautical sector? Is this a men’s world?

Less and less, fortunately. In the case of Arianespace we have a very high female representation, many of them project managers—indeed, the majority—. For me, being a woman has not been a hindrance and because of that it has not been difficult to move forward in this field.

And how do you see the generations to come? Are today’s boys and girls interested in space?


Funk will be the oldest person to reach space.

I think so, especially what it has to do with engineering and robotics. Although I also think that it depends a lot on the models that are around us and in that sense it is a shame that Spain doesn’t have more astronauts who can inspire the little ones and help them carry on that business. Can you

Is space tourism the future of space?

A development takes place. The place used to be financially inaccessible for private companies and has started happening today., Just as before only a few took planes and now they are accessible like a bus, space travel is opening up.

Thanks to past investments from various states space technology Private companies have been brought to where they are today.

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