As the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis launched into the night sky from the Kennedy Space Center on November 26, 1985, Latinx Rodolfo Neri Vela was among the crew. Neri is a Mexican scientist and astronaut who served as Payload Specialist for the mission. (A Payload Specialist is the technical expert on the carrying capacity of an aircraft or space ship, including cargo and scientific instruments or experiments.) Neri earned a BA in mechanical and electrical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), an MA in telecommunications systems from the University of Essex (England) and a Ph D in electromagnetic radiation from the University of Birmingham (England). Neri and the crew returned safely on December 3.
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