Argentine President Meets with NASA Engineer on Curiosity
September 14, 2012 • 8:33AM

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner met on Sept. 10 with Miguel San Martin, the Argentine aerospace engineer who led the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) team in charge of the guidance system that successfully landed the Curiosity on Mars.

San Martin was in Argentina along with American astronaut Ellen Baker for a Sept. 9 address on Curiosity at the Tecnopolis science and technology exposition in Buenos Aires. He was interviewed there by, among others, editor Rosina Castillo, who thanked him for being present and inspiring Argentine youth to pursue science and look to the stars.

Castillo also asked him about a possible manned mission to Mars, to which he replied that this would be a very complex and costly undertaking that would require both the "will" and cooperation of many nations, but would obviously be of great "benefit to humanity." Asked about Argentina's role in space activities, San Martin emphasized its great accomplishments working with NASA over a period of years, mentioning its contribution to the Curiosity project as well. It is crucial, he said, for Argentina to continue its emphasis on science and technology, as is now being done, so as to inspire young people to go into science and engineering as a profession.