José Armando Becerra, CUTonalá technology in orbit

when JOSE ARMANDO BECERRA HERNANDEZ He was entrusted with the idea of ​​creating a material that would protect ships, clothes and food from space-borne radiation, and it dawned on him. Let's start with one of the most useful materials: cement.

The problem is that you cannot transport a concrete block out of the ground because, besides being heavy, it cannot be handled and is expensive; However, for him To achieve this came up with an innovative plan.

This young nanotechnology engineering student University Center of Tonalá (CUTonalá)He attended NASA's International Air and Space Program, Held at a camp in Alabama last November.

there, His idea was to create nanotechnology from cement components Placed third out of eight teams to achieve a manipulable material that protects against radiation.

In addition, it was agreed to continue working on the development of the project with the help of researchers from CUTonalá in order to improve it, If its performance is achieved, take it to space and test it, and if successful, use it for materials used by NASA for space travel.

For now, once completed, a tray of the material will be placed in orbit aboard the International Space Station Materials Experiment (MISSE), where it will be exposed to radiation for six months.

It then returns to Earth for evaluation and if the result is successful, CUTonalá could patent it and sell the idea to NASA.

How does this nanotechnology project begin?

It's about creating a material that, after a process, can create coatings for spacecraft, space suits and food packaging. Absorbs or scatters radiation without damaging molecular structures Ships, food and astronauts have no genetic or health implications. This program is in third place and it opens the possibility to agree that we will continue its development to take it to space on the MISSE module. As long as the project we create has nanoparticles less than 100 nanometers, can be considered as nanostructured material.

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We are optimistic because the first tests we have done have obtained nanometric sizes (structures that make up cement). Its purpose is to avoid various types of radiation, such as neutrons fired at high speeds, which do the most damage in space. Cement is one of the only materials that can stop this type of radiation. Concrete is so heavy that a kilo sent into space costs 200 thousand pesos; This is not possible. But I began to imagine what would happen if we undo the molecular structure of concrete. So I searched for articles and found that this was already a field of interest for research, and after research I found out.There are architectures that we can get, make them more efficient and embed them in lighter materials..

How did you manage to participate in the NASA camp?

The call is opened by AEXA and contains questions for you to propose a project idea. They select you with the intention of bringing you closer to NASA facilities. I was lucky because the municipality of Tlaquepaque, where I belong, gave me a scholarship. There, in Alabama, USA, I practiced pretending that you would be a NASA astronaut.

Working on the development of a project that solves a spatial problem is one of the most exciting activities.

What is one of the most valuable experiences you will bring back after this experience?

Living with a NASA software engineer who worked on cybersecurity at the White House brought me back. He told us about how NASA appreciates ideas and sees their value. He told us that there are also people who pay for ideas. He asked us to come up with good ideas because we don't know what they will be worth in the future. One thing that really impressed me about NASA was that there were students from all over the world and from other universities in Mexico. I realized that I was in the same situation as those studying elsewhere. The talent in Mexico is real. only scarcity The authorities are supporting the students and prompting the investigation and Mexico is a force. To other students, remove your mental blocks.

@udeg_oficial Armando Becerra finished third in a competition #NASA 🚀 Now he is working on taking his project into space. 👨🏻‍🚀 #UdeGPride #Interstellar ♬ Solas X Interstellar – Gabriel Albuquerque

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