Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos congratulated and thanked a Colombian scientist Tuesday for her work of over 30 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The scientist, Adriana Ocampo, has worked tirelessly for NASA since 1973 and currently manages the New Frontiers Program, in the division of planetary sciences in Washington.
Santos made the statement during the presentation ceremony of a new atlas, “Colombia in Images from Space,” produced by the Geographic Institute of Agustin Codazzi.
The president thanked the scientist and Barranquilla native for the work she has done in an attempt to unravel the complexities of the universe. Santos emphasized the importance of her work, saying “she works at NASA to get closer to the mysteries guarded by the stars” and thanking her for “giving such a great name to our country.”
Ocampo is currently responsible for the development, implementation, integration, budget and success of several spacecraft, among them NASA’s Juno Mission which will explore the magnetic fields of Jupiter.
Santos praised the breadth of Ocampo’s work saying “today she is in charge- nothing more, nothing less- of the space missions to Jupiter and Pluto, not to mention the rich history of investigations she has been in charged of.”
In a recent interview with El Tiempo Ocampo expressed her desire for Latin America to become more engaged with aeronautical science. The Colombian scientists told El Tiempo, “my dream is that a university in Latin America puts a component or an instrument in a future space mission … Latin America is in a position to fully embrace the new space age, but needs to develop a regional policy, with priorities, regarding the peaceful use of space.”
The geologist has also worked to establish the Space Conference of the Americas, which seeks to integrate scientific talent across North and South America towards further exploration of space.