QCOSTARICA – Franklin Chang, a Costa Rican scientist and the first Latin American immigrant NASA Astronaut selected to go into space a member of the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame, says he supports the creation of a space agency in the country.
“A Costa Rican space agency is necessary, not as just another bureaucratic entity, but as a kind of lubricant for the scientific and technological gear that we already have in the country,” Chang said in a message released to the media, reported La Republica.
“It is important that this conversation begins immediately within our Legislative Assembly. It is timely, I allow myself to congratulate the group of legislators who are seeking this discussion (…),” he added.
The initiative, led by the liberationist legislator Aida Montiel, approved in first debate, is heading for its second and final debate in Congress.
The project seeks to take advantage of the country’s competitive advantages, such as its geographical location, biological research, and the educational level of Costa Rican engineers and scientists.
Its approval would make it possible to attract aerospace investments and facilitate the exchange of information and experience with other agencies, as well as the possibility for nationals to do internships in other countries.
Franklin Chang, a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions, is the only founder and current CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company dedicated to the development of advanced plasma rocket propulsion technology, located in the province of Guanacaste.